The Past

The Past Cover

The Past

By Tessa Hadley

Harper, Hardcover, 9780062270412, 320pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2016

Description

An exquisite writer, a writer's writer, with a fine eye for detail and a way of crafting sentences that make you stop and inhale . . . Hadley should be a bestseller rather than literary fiction's best kept secret. The Times (London)

Three sisters and a brother, complete with children, a new wife, and an ex-boyfriend's son, descend on their grandparents dilapidated old home in the Somerset countryside for a final summer holiday, where simmering tensions and secrets rise to the surface over three long, hot weeks.The house is full of memories of their childhood and their past their mother took them there to live when she left their father but now, they may have to sell it. And beneath the idyllic pastoral surface lie tensions.

Sophisticated and sleek, Roland's new wife (his third) arouses his sisters jealousies and insecurities.Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alice's ex-boyfriend, becomes enchanted with Molly, Roland's sixteen-year-old daughter. Fran's young children make an unsettling discovery in an abandoned cottage in the woods that shatters their innocence. Passion erupts where it's least expected, leveling the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister. As the family's stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican winds down to its inevitable end.

Over five novels and two collections of stories, Tessa Hadley has earned a reputation as a fiction writer of remarkable gifts. She brings all of her considerable skill to The Past, a work of breathtaking scope and beauty her most ambitious and accomplished novel yet.



NPR
Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016

Four adult siblings agree to spend one final summer vacation together in Tessa Hadley's new novel. Reviewer Maureen Corrigan says The Past is "as disturbing as it is diverting." More at NPR.org

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NPR
Saturday, Jan 16, 2016

In her latest novel, The Past, Tessa Hadley focuses on four siblings spending one last holiday at a soon-to-be-sold summer home. Tensions simmer, secrets break out of storage � but love remains. More at NPR.org

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