Late in the Day

About the Author: Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of Sunstroke and Other Stories, and the novels The Master Bedroom, Everything Will Be All Right, and Accidents in the Home She lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University.


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  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Late in the Day
  • Tessa Hadley
  • English
  • 03 March 2019
  • 9780062476692

Late in the Day The Lives Of Two Close Knit Couples Are Irrevocably Changed By An Untimely Death In The Latest From Tessa Hadley, The Acclaimed Novelist And Short Story Master Who Recruits Admirers With Each Book Hilary Mantel.Alexandr And Christine And Zachary And Lydia Have Been Friends Since They First Met In Their Twenties Thirty Years Later, Alex And Christine Are Spending A Leisurely Summer S Evening At Home When They Receive A Call From A Distraught Lydia She Is At The Hospital Zach Is Dead.In The Wake Of This Profound Loss, The Three Friends Find Themselves Unmoored All Agree That Zach, With His Generous, Grounded Spirit, Was The Irreplaceable One They Couldn T Afford To Lose Inconsolable, Lydia Moves In With Alex And Christine But Instead Of Loss Bringing Them Closer, The Three Of Them Find Over The Following Months That It Warps Their Relationships, As Old Entanglements And Grievances Rise From The Past, And Love And Sorrow Give Way To Anger And Bitterness.

10 thoughts on “Late in the Day

  1. Larry H says:

    The two couples were the closest of friends Alex and Christine, and Zach and Lydia Before all four met each other, Lydia and Christine were friends from school, as were Alex and Zach When they all were living in England, their families spent a great deal of time together, and even their daughters grew up together While they each shared some similarities, each was very different from one another.One night, Alex and Christine plan for a quiet evening, when the idyll is broken by a phone call Lydia is calling from the hospital to say that Zach died suddenly The two are utterly shocked by Lydia s news, and rush quickly to tend to her, to tell Lydia and Zach s daughter, Grace, who is in school in Glasgow, and to handle the details that are necessary when such a tragedy occurs.How do you help a friend who is grieving the death of her husband when you, too, are grieving the death of a cherished friend What words can convey support while not focusing too heavily on your own loss Alex and Christine feel unmoored, as if a part of them has died, as jovial, big hearted, creative Zach always seemed to bring rationality and heart into their relationships with one another Lydia is unsure of what to do she is unable to tend to Zach s affairs, or even process the thought of b...

  2. Ron Charles says:

    With each new book by Tessa Hadley, I grow convinced that she s one of the greatest stylists alive The British author of seven novels and several story collections, Hadley regularly inspires such praise, but her success was hardly a foregone conclusion Her first novel, Accidents in the Home, didn t appear until she was 46, practically geriatric compared with those wunderkinds who secure contracts at the Iowa Writers Workshop and graduate into a field of laurels.There are compensations, though, for achieving literary success later in life Unable to sell her first stories while she was raising a family, Hadley went back to school and wrote a PhD thesis on Henry James That long immersion in James s canon offered a study of psychological acuity that now illuminates Hadley s work But her quietly elegant style and muted wit are triumphs all her own To read Hadley s fiction is to grow self conscious in the best way to recognize with astonishment the emotions playing behind our own expressions, to hear articulated our own inchoate anxieties.Her previous book, The Past one of the best novels of 2016 involves four adult siblings enjoying their last vacation...

  3. Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader says:

    Beautifully written Two couples have been the best of friends since their twenties For over thirty years, it s been Zach and Lydia and Alex and Christine through it all One night Christine and Alex receive a call from Lydia Zach has unexpectedly passed away Interestingly, all the friends agree that Zach was the best of the group They put him on a posthumous pedestal and grief swallows their days Lydia is having such a difficult time, Alex and Christine have her move in with them But this closeness in their grief is not a good thing Their friendships are now in jeopardy Late in the Day is all about the characters, how they experience loss, and highlighting the complex dynamics of close relationships The writing is beautiful and so easy to read I also found it insightful, sensitive, and brilliant Hadley exposed these characters innermost feelings, which are not always pretty or expected Tessa Hadley has written an emotional...

  4. Elyse Walters says:

    Remember the movie, Bob Carol Ted and Alice , the hit talk about film in 1969 Let me refresh your memory Two pseudo liberal thinking couples friends for 30 years had intimate truth telling conversations together.The movie is a comedy.covering up tragedy below the surface With the possibly of wife swamping the 4 of them jump in bed together Only 3 adults jumped into bed together in Tessa Hadley s novel After all, what are good friends for also a 30 year friendship if not to comfort a cold grieving friend Bob Carol Ted Alice..Plus. Crossing to Safety , by Wallace Stegner.each share similarities with each other Stegner s book is outstanding a personal favorite I ve yet to read any book on friendships between two couples masterfully written I enjoyed parts of Late in the Day.but was craving the richness of Crossing to Safety It s easy to understand why Late in The Day , by Tessa Hadley is being compared to Crossing to Safety , though These books have similar themes about marriage, parenthood, aging, the past, secrets, grievances, regrets, all in the context of exploring their friendships.But the reason I bring up the comedy Bob Carol Ted Alice is because inHadley s novel I felt the moments of comic travestya similar emotion found in the movie with the two couplesyet not AS IN YOUR FACE funny too bad I fo...

  5. Will says:

    Tessa Hadley is a master of her craft with writing that is consistently beautiful while seemingly effortless, displaying remarkable perception and uncanny insight when exploring human connection and the inner thoughts and feeling of her characters, never shying away from the faults and flaws found in an actual life She is an author that never rings false to me, always exhibiting an honesty and, I suppose, an innate wisdom in her writing Her new novel, which explores the way in which tragedy and loss can adversely affect the lives of longtime friends, is no exception Hadley is uncanny in her ability to peel back the complex feelings and expose the often less than admirable reactions to the situation her characters face The story, written in alternating chapters, looks at the characters in their impressionable youth, filled with passion and ideas, and the present day, the characters now older and, if not slightly disillusioned, certainly complacent with their situations unti...

  6. Meike says:

    Tessa Hadley writes about the changing relationship dynamics between two couples from their mid twenties into their middle age, and while she offers some fascinating observations about semi conscious feelings of guilt, suspicion and resentment and also some gripping passages about grief, this book is overall lacking in force and urgency The characters remain pale and sometimes even clich d, and the explanations the author offers for her narrative decisions manage to make the whole experience even worse Our protagonists are two married couples, Alexandr Christine and Zachary Lydia While the book starts with Zach s death, all four of them are equally important as the story unfolds and conveys numerous layers through elaborate flashbacks I guess I am not giving away too much when I say that the erotic constellations between the protagonists have not always been like they are at the beginning of the book, and the death of Zachary works as a catalyst that reveals what has been hidden under the surface for years To read about the shifting emotions would have been way interesting though if the characters had been rendered with depth While Zach features as the wealthy gallery owner and provider, Alex is the guy who fled communism whose career as a sch...

  7. Julie Ehlers says:

    This was my first Tessa Hadley, and it turns out I had totally the wrong idea about her For some reason I thought she was dark and edgy and sardonic, but if Late in the Day is any indication, she s none of those things This was a fairly standard domestic drama, but done quite well maybe like a d...

  8. Bonnie Brody says:

    Tessa Hadley s writing is like a specific taste think cilantro, marzipan, or liver You either like it immediately or it doesn t mesh with your tastes I found myself trying very hard to get into the flow of the narrative but it was like an undertow No matter how hard I tried to stay afoot, I kept going down The novel begins with the death of Zachary, a charismatic man, cultured, strong and assured in every way, a gallery owner and part of the London art scene Of all the people in his circle, he was the one they never suspected would die, despite all of them getting on in years and having grown children Despite his friends beliefs in his near immortality, Zachary keels over in his gallery, hitting his head on his desk Christine and Alex, Zachary and Lydia s closest friends, are listening to a piece of music by Mozart when the phone rings It is Lydia, Zachary s wife, telling them about his death She sounds as if she s half in shock while being quite histrionic at the same time Christine wants to leave right away to be with Lydia but her husband, Alex, tells her they must wait for the Mozart piece to finish This is where I paused she actually listened to him Lydia, Christine, Zachary, and Alex go way back to college days when they first met Alex was a married French teacher whose class Lydia was in Despite his not noticing her, Lydia devises a plot to steal Alex from ...

  9. Peter Boyle says:

    This patient, carefully considered story explores the fortunes of two couples in present day London Christine, an artist, and her husband Alex, a poet turned teacher, are listening to classical music in their apartment one evening when the phone rings Lydia, their old friend, tells them that her husband Zachary has died of a heart attack while working in his art gallery The quartet had been friends for many years and Zachary s untimely passing has a huge effect on the other three Lydia moves in with Christine and Alex while she figures out what to do next The women have been pals since childhood, and in fact it was Lydia who first had a crush on Alex before he eventually got together with Christine But Zachary s death upsets the balance, and old feelings begin to flicker.Hadley writes so perceptively about the sense of paralysis and chaos that the death of a loved one brings It wasn t like a stone after all, this intrusion of grief a stone was cold and still, you could surround it, but this swelled inside her and receded then swelled again uncontrollably she felt helpless against its violence, her usual self wrecked and lost, turned inside out In the aftermath of that awful phone call, Christine has a moment of clarity about the impermanence of her own existence, and she ...

  10. Dan says:

    Tessa Hadley masters the everyday in Late in the Day everyday people living everyday lives in everyday situations While not my life or the lives of people I know, Hadley s characters and their lives are easily imaginable as real Late in the Day does not transcend the everyday so much as help us to understand it Late in the Day revolves around two long married and intertwined couples who have known each other since their twenties Christine and Alexandr, and Lydia and Zachary The relationship between Christine and Lydia friends since college forms part of the essential core of Late in the Day, and especially Lydia as understood through Christine s perspective As soon as she d finished her last university exam, Lydia had stopped thinking about books in the critical language she d had to learn for her degree yet in her exams she d done very well, almost as well as Christine She spoke about that critical analysis as if it was a trick you could put on and off, for strategic purposes this was bruising to Christ...