Late in the Day

Late in the Day

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"With each new book by Tessa Hadley, I grow more convinced that she's one of the greatest stylists alive."--Ron Charles, Washington Post

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice |A Parnassus First Editions Club Pick | Powell's Indispensable Book Club Pick

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.

Late in the Day explores the complex webs at the center of our most intimate relationships, to expose how, beneath the seemingly dependable arrangements we make for our lives, lie infinite alternate configurations. Ingeniously moving between past and present and through the intricacies of her characters' thoughts and interactions, Tessa Hadley once again "crystallizes the atmosphere of ordinary life in prose somehow miraculous and natural" (Washington Post).

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2019]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780062476692
Branch Call Number: HADLEY T
Characteristics: 273 pages ; 24 cm


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May 20, 2019

A modern take on an old tale of two couples and their infidelity .
Implicitly the reader takes sides.
Who commits the greater sin?
The entitled widow and her unrelenting privilege - or the husband and his
meek acquiescence?
Which is worse ?
The disloyalty revealed with cruel aplomb- or not at all and unspoken?
Tessa Hadley’s Late in the Day is more appealing and thoughtful than Mazursky’s

May 19, 2019

It is thin - I heard many good things on Radio 4 reviews and written critiques, but I shall summarize with this short word: thin. Something is truly lacking (felt the same with Sally Rooney's novels). Dialogue here carries a huge amount of the expositionary load so it's not believable; you have to build a story with history, description, location, metaphor, character. It all felt diluted. There's not quite enough meat on these bones.

Mar 17, 2019

I kept waiting to get to a point when the story or characters find meaning to exist. Hadley's novel kept drifting between the four intermeshed characters - two couples exchanging partners at various points in history. My waiting was never satisfied.

Feb 27, 2019

I'm pretty open to most books and always give them a chance to convince me. I went all the way with this one and was sorry I did. The characters were tedious and self absorbed. I gave it stars because her writing style and flow of story was good, but her characters for me were just not people you'd want to spend time with if you had a choice.


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