The Past, by Tessa Hadley
Three sisters and a brother, complete with children, a new wife, and an ex-boyfriend’s son, descend on their grandparents’ dilapidated old home in the Somerset countryside for a final summer holiday. The house is full of memories of their childhood and their past—their mother took them there to live when she left their father—but now, they may have to sell it. And beneath the idyllic pastoral surface lie tensions. As the family’s stories and silences intertwine over the course of three long, hot weeks, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life—bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican—winds down to its inevitable end.
Over five novels, including Clever Girl, 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 beauty; her most ambitious and accomplished novel yet. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker; in 2016 she was awarded the Windham Campbell Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. She lives in London.