spoiler alert: this post makes reference to the August 12 episode on CBC
Meet Tess of the d'Urbervilles, a young lady from a peasant family who endures misfortune after misfortune. Tess is taken advantage of by a rogue, has a baby who lives only one week, loses the man she loves (twice), stays with a man she hates. kills the man she hates and is arrested for murder and... well you get the idea.
When I see Maria sitting in church with Ozzie, I can't help thinking that she is the Street's 'Tess', the original hard luck girl. Maria herself alludes to this at one point by saying that her family seems to be plagued with bad luck. Maria, like Tess, has noble aspirations. She transforms herself from a Wellington-boot wearing kennel worker into a bona fide hairdresser. Along the way, she has a string of failed relationships with men from Jason to Nick (of Canada) to Peter Barlow. (For the record: she is bored in Canada, probably from watching too much Peter Mansbridge).
Her only true love (arguably) is Tyrone but she loses him. Incredibly, he dumps her since he can never meet her expectations. The family leaves the kennel in the hands of CEO Kirk (he's no Richard Branson - ed) to go look after donkeys (that's right, donkeys). Kirk loses the business and is now unemployed (I think). Meanwhile Maria continues to lurch from disaster to disaster (a sordid affair with Charlie Stubbs, for example). Most recently there is the sad story of her dead baby and. of course, the death of her husband Liam.
The novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, was published in 1891. Maria's saga has yet to be played out but I do hope her luck changes. She certainly deserves it.