Tessa Hadley is a fiction writer of remarkable gifts, and she has been compared with Elizabeth Bowen and Alice Munro. She writes with a precise, observational eye and her subject matter is often the carefully nuanced world of family and its dynamics. Here at the bookshop, a new novel from Tessa Hadley is always highly anticipated.
In The Past three sisters and a brother meet up in their grandparents’ old house for three long, hot summer weeks. The house is full of memories of their childhood and their past but now they may have to sell it. Tension rumbles beneath the idyl. Roland has come with his new wife and his sisters don’t like her. Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alice’s ex-boyfriend, makes plans to seduce Molly, Roland’s teenage daughter. Fran’s children uncover an ugly secret in a ruined cottage in the woods.
A way of life – bourgeois, literate, ritualised – winds down to its inevitable end. This is absorbing, enthralling stuff.