THE PAST by Tessa Hadley & Giveaway

the past

Whenever I read a novel about families, I’m reminded of the famous line by Leo Tolstoy from Anna Karenina. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Tessa Hadley’s novel, THE PAST (Harper) is a good reminder of how little we really know the people we consider closest to us, our family.

THE PAST is about the four siblings and their families who take a holiday for three weeks together at their family vacation cottage. Three generations of the Cranes have traveled to the English countryside, to a property that has been in the family for years and is in need of repair. Ironically, the plot revolves around the Cranes, a fragile family, who are in need of nurturing, as well. Although family members have lived during different generational  times, all are fated to face the same problems. When they try to create some kind of connection, isolation and a solitary existences are what they encounter.

The house is full of upsetting childhood memories of when their mother took them to live after she left father. And now, the house may be sold, something no one wants. Each one has stories and secrets that intertwine and build into crises, leading to an inevitable end.

Set aside some time to spend with Tessa Hadley and THE PAST. Don’t be in a hurry to read her novel, plan on savoring her sentences and the unique structure of her narrative. Ms. Hadley’s novels are best read while sitting in a lovely room filled with other rich, bounded books, on a comfy sofa, with a cuppa hot tea and a few biscuits – perhaps a fire burning to keep the air toasty. Don’t have anything on your calendar. Just relax, read and enjoy.

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Purchase Links

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Photo credit Mark Vessey

Photo credit Mark Vessey

About Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of five highly praised novels: Accidents in the Home, Everything Will Be All Right; The Master Bedroom; The London Train, which was a New York Times Notable Book; and Clever Girl. She is also the author of two short story collections, Sunstroke and Married Love, which were New York Times Notable Books. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker. She lives in London.

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Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harper Publishing, we have one copy of THE PAST to giveaway. SECRETS? Have you ever learned a secret about a family member that has surprised you? Care to share? We’ll pick a winner Wednesday. Have a great weekend.

Feel free to check out for more of my reviews and news of my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”


14 thoughts on “THE PAST by Tessa Hadley & Giveaway

  1. A big secret….my grandma had a baby before marriage and gave her up. My mom found out when my grandma died when this half sister came forward. Huge shock.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, personally, don’t know of any secrets in my family. My husband’s paternal grandparents raised the grandmother’s sister’s baby as their own. I don’t know at what age this child found out that his mother was actually his aunt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I found out a HUGE family secret, and the person it’s about does not know that I know…and most people in our family do not know. No one in my mom’s family ever talks about it, and my dad was the one who told me. My mom wishes he hadn’t told me. It certainly made me realize years ago that things are not always as they appear. The cover of this book is stunning, and I love reading books how you described it – cozy, warm, no plans, and savoring words!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm…well this is kind of awkward, but at least I have a ready answer:

    During the summer between grade school and middle school, right after my 12th birthday, my parents felt it was time to disclose a major secret that they had directly lied about and hidden until that time both to me and to anyone else who didn’t need to know. At the time, the information served to deflate my parents from my formerly childlike perspective — they were thereafter fallible people and not the largely trustworthy authorities upon which my sense of security and self were founded. I think this happens as any child who enjoys largely stable/supportive parenting grows up, but with me, this realization hit in one fell swoop. I suddenly saw them as humans with complex personalities and faults which I hadn’t seen in them in the parent-child context. The news was not only shocking but scary as it was unclear how our lives might be impacted by the situation. I definitely burst into tears like the child I was as soon as I heard.

    Thankfully, as an adult, I can put this disclosure in its proper context over the course of many years thereafter of happy, healthy, OPEN dynamics within our family. Moreover, although I didn’t believe my parents could ever serve as role models in any context, over the last few years (I’m a thirty-something) I’ve found their experiences are very instructive for me. When I see all the wisdom and strength they possessed and showed me as they navigated their unique paths through adversity without losing what mattered most, it gives me perspective on my own situation in life and insight into how to attack problems I encounter. So I guess I’ve come full circle, or something…

    Thanks for offering this novel as a prize; it’s a must-read for me this year! Cheers, Kara S

    Liked by 1 person

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