Monday, January 11, 2016

The Past
by Tessa Hadley

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A novel in which three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house.

These three weeks may be their last time there; the upkeep is prohibitive, and they may be forced to sell this beloved house filled with memories of their shared past (their mother took them there to live when she left their father). Yet beneath the idyllic pastoral surface, hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them.

Sophisticated and sleek, Roland’s new wife (his third) arouses his sisters’ jealousies and insecurities. Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alice’s ex-boyfriend, becomes enchanted with Molly, Roland’s sixteen-year-old daughter. Fran’s young children make an unsettling discovery in a dilapidated cottage in the woods that shatters their innocence. Passion erupts where it’s least expected, leveling the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister.

Over the course of this summer holiday, the family’s stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life—bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican—winds down to its inevitable end.



Kritters Thoughts:  Three sisters and one brother descend on the house that helped raise them and must make the decision of putting money into fixing it up or saying goodbye to the house that built them.  With two bringing their kids, a spouse and an ex-boyfriend's child - it is a full house of crazy!

This book is divided into three categories, the first and third beinging the present and the middle part taking place in the past.  The first part moved slow it felt like a long set up and get to know you period.  The middle dived into the childhood of three of the four siblings and really explained to the reader the quirks of these children and how they got their personalities.  The third read so much better after meeting their mother and reading about the childhood that created the adulthood for each of them.

I enjoy family dramas, especially ones that touch on birth order and how the events of your childhood can really shape you.  Divorce, death or just crazy can make a child into maybe not the most adjusted adult!  I am also a big believer in birth order and where you are born in the order absolutely matters.  I loved seeing that come out in these siblings.

Overall I liked the plot and story, but this book definitely moved slow and had a British feel to it, so if you don't love a slow moving British story this one may not be for you.  But if that is your thing - this one should be your next read!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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