The London Train

The London Train Cover

The London Train

By Tessa Hadley

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062011831, 324pp.

Publication Date: May 24, 2011

"Hadleyis a lovely, subtly teasing writer." New York Times Book Review

Long-listed forthe Orange Prize

Twolives, stretched between two cities, converge in a chance meeting withimmediate and far-reaching consequences in this compelling, sophisticated talefrom acclaimed New Yorker writer Tessa Hadley, author of Accidents inthe Home and The Master Bedroom. As father struggles to reestablisha relationship with his estranged daughter in London, surrendering himself toan underground life of illegal squats and counterculture friendships, a wifedecides she must flee her suffocating marriage to return to Wales, where inCardiff she may rediscover the passions that once fueled her life. Embracingchange and facing loss, in a story evocative of Alice Munro's Runaway andJulia Glass I See You Everywhere, Hadley's powerful charactersilluminate the furthest reaches of love, hope, and determination.

Praise For The London Train

“Powerful…. Ms. Hadley has a talent for the canny detail…. There are platoons of novelists producing work about middle-class marriages in disarray, most of it very dull. Ms. Hadley is one of the gifted exceptions, and the calm acuity with which she depicts these fractured relationships is haunting.”
-Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

“[Hadley] is a writer who has always allowed her fiction space to breathe beyond its narrative borders. . . . Shows how language, deployed with precision or daring, can make thrillingly new the textures and undercurrents of everyday life.”
-Peter Parker, Sunday Times (London)

“Hadley is a close observer of her characters’ inner worlds. Her language can be fine-grained, subtle, eloquent…. Hadley is a supremely perceptive writer of formidable skill and intelligence, someone who goes well beyond surfaces.”
-Jean Thompson, New York Times Book Review

“The London Train brings a quiet, nuanced intelligence to domestic fiction….The London Train is the sort of muted, thoughtful read that requires switching from the clattering express onto life’s slow local tracks. Hadley, a meticulous stylist, has woven into her narrative reflections on memory and time.”
-Heller McAlpin, NPR

“Impressive. . . . a triumph of form.”
-Ti Sperlinger, Independent on Sunday (London)

“Hadley’s strength lies in her characterization. . . . . There’s something pleasingly human about them. With characters like these Hadley makes us wonder what forms our own darkness takes.”
-Richard Platt, TimeOut (London)

“Spectacular….A compelling and serious page-turner.”
-Anna Shapiro, The Observer (London) on Accidents in the Home

“Tessa Hadley is a writer whose antennae are almost indecently attuned to the interior static of private lives....[M]asterly...”
-Emma Hagestadt, The Independent

“Elizabeth Bowen-like in its attention to nuance in language and behaviour, this concise novel also offers a sharp portrait of modern Britain.”
-Peter Parker, London Sunday Times

“The minds of Paul and Cora are so fully occupied by this most astute and sympathetic of writers....Hadley has crafted real excitement, so that each story ends in a flurry of curiosity and The London Train snaps shut with an effective twist.”
-Susanna Rustin, The Guardian