Everyday life crackles with the electricity sparking between men and women, between parents and children, between friends. A son confesses to his mother that he is cheating on his girlfriend; a student falls in love with her lecturer and embarks on an affair with a man in the pub who looks just like him. Young mothers pent-up in childcare dream treacherously of other possibilities; a boy becomes aware of the woman, a guest at his parents' holiday home, who is pressing up too close against him on the beach.
Hidden away inside the present, the past is explosive; the future can open unexpectedly out of any chance encounter; ordinary moments are illuminated with lightning flashes of dread or pleasure. These stories about family life are somehow undomesticated and dangerous.
Few writers give me such consistent pleasure
She has such great psychological insights into human beings, which is rare. She is one of the best fiction writers writing today
Truly absorbing... a masterful yet understated read... More please
Brilliant... Hadley's style is as discreet as good tailoring
The stories sparkle...Hadley is fascinating for the way she admits a fantasy or a missed chance can be more significant than the actual events that shape a life
From novels about parenting to making love last, here are some great books to read in your forties.
Tessa Hadley writes about relationships between lovers, friends, parents and children, with the sharpest of eyes so that you see things you'd never noticed before not just in writing, but in your own life too. Here, the VINTAGE team pick their favourite of her novels and short stories.