The Past (Compact Disc)
January 2016 Indie Next List
“A novel about a family vacation is often used as a device to bring out the worst flaws of the characters; here, it is used to bring out the best of Hadley's writing talent. She brings the family together, introducing them one by one: Harriet, the outdoorsy one; Alice, the dramatic one; Fran, the motherly one; Roland, the scholarly brother. The siblings, along with assorted children, spouses, and a young friend, spend three weeks in the crumbling house that belonged to their grandparents, trying to decide what must be done with it. Readers who enjoy character-driven novels, such as ones by Kate Atkinson, Margaret Drabble, or Jane Gardam, will welcome this novel.”
— Yvette Olson (W), Magnolia's Bookstore, Seattle, WA
The "supremely perceptive writer of formidable skill and intelligence (New York Times Book Review) turns her astute eye to a dramatic family reunion, where simmering tensions and secrets come to a head over three long, hot summer weeks.
"Deliciously precise. . . . Built in a Chekhovian manner, handily assembling the grown members of an extended family and their offspring under one roof."--New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Windham Campbell Prize - A Washington Post Best Book of the Year - A Time Best Book of the Year - A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Book of the Year - A Huffington Post Best Fiction Book of the Year - A New York Times Editors' Choice
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.