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The Past
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
An exquisite writer, a writers 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 fictions best kept secret.The Times (London)Three sisters and a brother, complete with children, a new wife, and an ex-boyfriends 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 pasttheir mother took them there to live when she left their fatherbut now, they may have to sell it. And beneath the idyllic pastoral surface lie tensions.Sophisticated and sleek, Rolands new wife (his third) arouses his sisters jealousies and insecurities.Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alices ex-boyfriend, becomes enchanted with Molly, Rolands sixteen-year-old daughter. Frans young children make an unsettling discovery in an abandoned cottage in the woods that shatters their innocence. Passion erupts where its least expected, leveling the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister. As the familys stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of lifebourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglicanwinds 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 beautyher most ambitious and accomplished novel yet.
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review
Tamra
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

Hadley‘s writing is lush and luxuriant! Don‘t expect a plot here, the entire novel is character development. They aren‘t all likable, but they aren‘t horrid either. Normal complicated people.
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I ordered a collection of her short stories! 😊

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Tamra
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Slow, but loving the character studies. Hadley‘s prose is lush! Another English countryside. 😄

I‘m only 20% in, but I put all of Hadley‘s collected short stories in my Abe cart. 😙 She is a new find for me.

LeeRHarry I really enjoyed this one, still haven‘t gotten round to reading anything more by her though. 4mo
Cathythoughts I must try her. ♥️ 4mo
batsy English countryside, you say? I'm (always) in 😂🌳 4mo
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Tamra @batsy it might be Ireland! I think Hadley is Irish and I don‘t recall if the story has specified. Either way, delightful! 4mo
Tamra @Cathythoughts not a very good rating in Litsy, but I‘ll let you know! 4mo
Tamra @LeeRHarry yay! I don‘t know why it hasn‘t been better reviewed on Litsy. 🤔 4mo
Tamra @batsy I just read the blurb and it‘s Somerset, England. 😄 4mo
58 likes7 comments
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emmaturi
The Past | Tessa Hadley
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Mehso-so

This would normally be my kind of book, but somehow this time it wasn't!
Four siblings meet up in their grandparents' old house in the summer. Basically stuff happens!
I wasn't really invested in the characters. I do want to try another of her books though! #books

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emmaturi
The Past | Tessa Hadley
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This is my current read and first in July. Half way through, and it is ok. #currentread

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Kazzie
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
Pickpick

Captivating

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Litpixie
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Several years ago I decided to step off several bad medications. That caused months of insomnia. In order to cope I grabbed back issues of The New Yorker and read. One of the short stories was Hadley's The Past. When I saw it in the bookstore I bought it. I started this yesterday and wish I could curl up with it and ignore the world for a few days.

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emilyhaldi
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

4 adult siblings return to their family home in the English countryside for what might be their last holiday there together. Beware: not a lot of action in this book, more introspection instead. While the siblings are joined together for 3 weeks, the narrative follows the pain and loneliness each is feeling very privately. The characters are all very flawed but I was rooting for each one to find their way.

RadicalReader @emilyhaldi such a good book snack fruit!!! 4y
minkyb I would like this. Stacked! 4y
Cinfhen Pretty photo 4y
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Christine Mmm, cherries!! 🍒❤️ I feel like the Washington ones have been extra good this year and I can‘t stop buying and eating them! 4y
LeahBergen Pass me a cherry! 4y
Reviewsbylola Would I like this? 4y
emilyhaldi Hmmmm @Reviewsbylola that‘s a toughie. I wouldn‘t rush to put it on your tbr... 4y
Mdargusch Nice photo! 🍒🍒🍒 4y
109 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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mkinney10
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Perfect read for a rainy day!

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calicodreamin
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Mehso-so

Not exactly what I look for in a book. The Past is sort of a “day in the life” type of book, with the real interest lying in the interactions between sisters and their connection to their grandparents and mother. It was an interesting concept and I did find myself intrigued by the goings of the family. However, the novel was slightly mundane and the author did not use quotation marks for when people spoke which maddened me endlessly.

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BooksGirlsCats
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

First book this year- a hazy, nostalgic and claustrophobic summer retreat in the english countryside. A lovely antidote to the drizzly english weather, especially combined with coffee!

Also, this will be book number 1 of my #52BooksIn2018 challenge!

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andrew61
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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#augustgrrrl #vacation
I really enjoy tessa hadley's domestic dramas and her short stories are excellent. This is a family holiday that goes badly wrong when old sibling tensions reemerge after a parents death.

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shawnmooney
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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It has gotten decidedly mixed reviews but this nice hardcover for $6 beckoned nonetheless.

saresmoore What a neat cover image! 5y
BkClubCare Nonetheless is one of my favorite words 5y
LeahBergen I have this. Oh oh ... buddy read? 5y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen If you're willing to risk it… 😂😂 5y
LeahBergen @shawnmooney I'll give you ONE more chance ... 😉 5y
41 likes5 comments
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tjramsey75
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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So excited about all these amazing books and fun goodies!!! Had to confiscate the headphones back from my tie dye loving daughter already. I haven't read any of these books and they all look right up my alley! Thanks you so much for spoiling me @AccioAlltheBooks #beachinbookswap

BeckyWithTheGoodBooks Yay!! I am so glad you like them. 😍 5y
8 likes1 comment
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Yossarian
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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This is my #TBR list, and everything on it is my #JulyMostAnticipated. My reading goal for the year was to read all 45 books that were on my list on New Years Day. That list is down to 30 (the ones in color on top), but I've added 11 new unread books this year, so the total hasn't gone down much.

Coco Lab Girl is awesome! I recommend the audio (read by author) 5y
Rachaeldulaney20 Haha story of my life 5y
Sue Good list! 5y
89 likes3 comments
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jhod
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Beautiful theatre weekend in Bath, it has the best book shops. I only bought second hand (boyfriend on hand to pass judgement on spending...) and still did very well #bookhaul

MrBook Looks superb! 6y
12 likes1 comment
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LauraBeth
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Half Price Books in Decatur, GA at 4 pm (also 20 minutes before we sauntered next door into Home Goods and got into a huge argument about a stupid Cynthia Rowley Dip Bowl - seriously) 😕

TheBookStacker I love both books on the bottom row. Nice quick beach reads 6y
saresmoore Sigh. When in doubt, stay in the bookstore. 6y
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LeahBergen Which side of the argument were you on - pro or anti bowl? My husband accuses me of having a "bowl problem". ? 6y
LeahBergen And, of course, he is completely WRONG. 6y
LauraBeth @saresmoore I made the mistake of leaving the bookstore! 😩 6y
LauraBeth @TheBookStacker the descriptions for both of those books sounded good 😀 6y
LauraBeth @LeahBergen I am pro bowl all the way! I'm blaming him because he volunteered ME to bring all of the snacks to a gathering tomorrow. If I wasn't bringing all of the snacks - there would be no Bowl problem 😂 6y
LauraBeth @Bookish.Heart I should have known better and should have gone alone 😀 6y
saresmoore @LeahBergen There's no such thing as a book problem OR a bowl problem! I mean, they're equally useful and beautiful. #LitsyEnables 6y
Cinfhen Hope you left with a book and the bowl! Sometimes they just don't get it at all! I also know not to take hubby into Home Goods, he becomes agitated when he realizes it's NOT Home Depot! 6y
LauraBeth 😂😂 I did @Cinfhen! I should have known never to have had him go in there. It turned out productive in the long run because if there's one thing we've learned how to do, it's to figure out what it is we're actually arguing over and resolve it. But dang - I made such a rookie mistake 😀 6y
Cinfhen 🤣🤣glad it all worked out in the end and super impressed that you were able to locate the actual cause of the frustration. That's a worthy skill set💕 6y
LauraBeth @Cinfhen watch what happens when a Southern Belle whose passive-aggressive and non-confrontational and a Bronx-born, hot blooded Dominican stop being polite and start getting real 😂😂or Real World for married folks 6y
Cinfhen You know I was addicted to REAL WORLD, it's when those darn Road Rules vs Real World challenges started that I lost interest @LauraBeth I'm just glad you guys keep it real 😘😘 6y
melbeautyandbooks 😂😂😂 6y
LauraBeth @Cinfhen they messed up a good thing! 6y
LauraBeth @melbeautyandbooks we almost threw down in the dinnerware aisle 😂 6y
melbeautyandbooks @LauraBeth - I think all of us have been there! 😂 6y
SaraFair Note to self- always go alone! Sorry girl, have also learned the hard way! 6y
160 likes1 stack add20 comments
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julianabrina
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Seashore
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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A dusky dusk read.

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BookishKateNYC
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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15 likes1 stack add
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Yossarian
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Tsundoku: The Japanese word for what I do all the time.

In practical terms, if I buy the hardback, but don't read it before the paperback comes out, I have failed.

LeahBergen Then I fail ALL THE TIME. 6y
kspenmoll I suspect many of us do! 6y
SarahK Who would have thought there's a word for that! 6y
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Gleefulreader My simple solution: buy the paperback so you never fail this way! 😂😂😂 6y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa This may be an app filled with failures if we follow that criteria! 6y
rubyslippersreads In my case, it's if I pay full price for the ebook and it drops to $1.99 before I get a chance to read it. 😄 6y
cariashley Ugh that's totally how I measure myself too 😔 6y
Amandajoy I solve that by only buying paperbacks. 🤓 6y
125 likes8 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Mehso-so

I had high expectations, always a danger. It's well-written, well-structured and characters are firmly drawn, the children poignant. There is a good sense of place, English country house... But it felt trite, eg Alice complaining when Roland buys the papers, "can't we not know the news, just for a while?" - the sentiment is fair but would a grown-up say that? I'd read more of tessa Hadley but this didn't move me somehow.

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megradogna
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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HarperPerennial
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

Rereading because Tessa is stateside! She's on the West Coast this week and then at the New Yorker Festival & McNally Jackson on the 8th.

102 likes22 stack adds
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megradogna
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Woke up to a lakeside sunrise and couldn't wait to curl up in an Adirondack chair with a cup of tea and my new book. Loving The Past by Tessa Hadley so far. #amreading

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erinreads
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Such pretty #bookmail today! 😻 I bought it purely because it's so pretty, but is it any good, though?

BookishMarginalia I got this one today too 6y
LeahBergen I have it on my TBR shelf. 6y
27 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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katrrosee
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Babysitting my nephew (+puppy) today, and while they nap, I read! Isn't this a gorgeous cover?

she_barks It's s beautiful story too. 6y
112 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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whelanmaria
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

A quiet, domestic novel that moves between the present, four siblings vacationing in their grandparents house, to the past, when their mother went back to visit her parents. The novel's imagery especially around light and nature is absolutely phenomenal. A story about practically nothing, I was engaged the entire time.

rachel_mbc I was surprised how much I loved this book. 6y
KikiLovesBooks I loved this and cried at the end! 6y
BookishMarginalia I have had it in my hand but haven't succumbed. Might be worth a second look. 6y
whelanmaria @rachel_mbc and @KikiLovesBooks the end was surprising and so sad/beautiful! Great read. @BookishMarginalia You should!! 6y
23 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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whelanmaria
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley

Sophy and Grantham devoured their books: reading was a freedom torn out of the day's regulated fabric.

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Fridayfilms
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

Much of this book feels languid and aimless; a sort of trance that lulls you into forgetting to brace for a conclusion. It's only when you're chasing through the last forty pages or so that you realise the entire narrative has been intricately built to topple like dominoes.

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Fridayfilms
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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"She knew from her own experience what a great labour it was, binding up again all the mess of self, which in your extremity you had unbound."

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Fridayfilms
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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"It was surely wrong to think that reading and intelligence had to float somewhere above the thickness of real experience."

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Fridayfilms
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Sunday morning session. Taking my time with this one, which was recommended by a book seller in Cambridge, where I was hunting for a new read to take with me on holiday. It's slow-paced like summer, and its omniscience lifts and settles on the characters like drifting seed pods. Very enjoyable.

1 like1 stack add
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amandaeyreward
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

Loving this one so far

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ReadosaurusText
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Finally, finally, THE PAST library ebook is available! (BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME also just became available again for me to finish.)

17 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Mehso-so

I felt foreboding throughout this book. So many curious things--even the gorgeous cover has that feel to me. Overgrown rundown cottage, and so on. But then nothing happens that lives up to that feeling. Maybe it's just me?

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DreesReads
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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50 pages to go, and another soccer practice of reading time!

shawnmooney Enjoying it? I'm intrigued but have heard mixed reviews. 6y
DreesReads @shawnmooney I am still waiting for something to happen. It feels like something huge will happen, but nothing I consider to be huge and worth all the text. But I'm not done yet! 6y
6 likes2 comments
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DreesReads
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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New book, squee! And a gorgeous cover!

11 likes1 stack add
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Lillie
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Panpan

Went into this book anticipating that I would love it as it's my kind of story (family reunion with issues to resolve). Just could not get into this one.
⭐️⭐️

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ReadingEnvy
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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"Both sisters managed to be offended ... All the siblings felt sometimes, as the days of their holiday passed, the sheer irritation and perplexity of family coexistence; how it fretted away at the love and attachment which were nonetheless intense and enduring when they were apart."

6 likes3 stack adds
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stephopitz
The Past: A Novel | Tessa Hadley
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Pickpick

Hadley just won Windham Campbell prize and I'd bet it's the first of many this year. Loved The Past.

6 likes2 stack adds