Rivalry, unruly desire and ugly secrets poison a family holiday in this gripping novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Late in the Day.
'Few writers give me such consistent pleasure' Zadie Smith
Four siblings meet up in their grandparents’ old house for three long, hot summer weeks. But under the idyllic surface lie shattering tensions.
Roland has come with his new wife, and his sisters don’t like her. Fran has brought her children, who soon uncover an ugly secret in a ruined cottage in the woods. Alice has invited Kasim, an outsider, who makes plans to seduce Roland’s teenage daughter. And Harriet, the eldest, finds her quiet self-possession ripped apart when passion erupts unexpectedly.
Over the course of the holiday, a familiar way of life falls apart forever.
'Exquisite' The Times
'Magnificent' Sunday Times
One of the best novels of 2016.
I find Tessa Hadley’s work genuinely helpful, especially when it comes to the big subjects: love and marriage, the political versus the personal, children, friendship. And then there are the sentences themselves, so precise and beautiful, often sly, sometimes devastating, always expertly paced. 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
A new Tessa Hadley is a pleasure to be savoured… The Past is a hugely enjoyable and keenly intelligent novel, brimming with the vitality of unruly desire.
Hadley is an exquisite writer, with a fine eye for detail and a way of crafting sentences that make you stop and inhale
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.