The Past

Siblings visit their old home before it's sold and a mix of emotions surface

By Tessa Hadley Read by Caroline Lennon Family Life / Fiction / Literary English, Unabridged 10h 35m Sell Sheet Also available on
Format Release Date List Price Your Price ISBN
9 Audio CDs Tue Jan 05 00:00:00 UTC 2016 34.99 24.99 9781682628157 Add to Cart
2 MP3 CDs Tue Jan 05 00:00:00 UTC 2016 19.99 14.99 9781682628195 Add to Cart
							*An Indie Next list pick  * People Magazine's Book of the Week *Kirkus Reviews Most Anticipated Book of 2016

Three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house  one last time before it is sold. The house is filled with memories of their  shared past yet beneath the idyllic surface, hidden passions, devastating  secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them. Sophisticated and  sleek, Roland's new wife arouses his sister' jealousies. Passion erupts where  it's least expected, shattering 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.

“Exquisite…. For anyone who cherishes Anne Tyler and Alice Munro, the book offers similar deep pleasures. Like those North American masters of the domestic realm, Hadley crystallizes the atmosphere of ordinary life in prose somehow miraculous and natural.... Extraordinary.” - Ron Charles, Washington Post

“Deliciously precise.... Built in a Chekhovian manner, handily assembling the grown members of an extended family and their offspring under one roof.... Hadley is adept at delineating the Cranes’ brand of cultured middle-class Britishness in all its generational mutations.” - Fernanda Eberstadt, New York Times Book Review

“A fresh take on a familiar story of fractious family reunions where old resentments resurface, new alliances form, and long-buried secrets are uncovered. A great read whether at the cottage or just dreaming of one.” - Library Journal, starred review

A- " skilled at fluidly dipping in and out of the minds of her characters..." - Entertainment Weekly

Narrator of well over one hundred audio books, Lennon brings a veteran’s confidence to this quiet domestic drama in her marvelous evocation of Hadley’s language. Lennon prizes the novel’s slow description and careful characterizations of several generations of a British family. However, she falls flat in creating recognizable voices for those characters, all middle-aged siblings who return to the family’s country house for a summer holiday only to find that the wounds that once defined them are still festering under the surface. In particular, Lennon fails to distinguish the three sisters’ voices, despite the sharp differences in their personalities: the pragmatic Fran, the dreamy and self-absorbed Alice, and the chronically apprehensive Hetty. As well, when the novel reverts to an extended flashback to 1968, two other female characters share the same brisk intonations of Lennon’s usual voice. - Publisher's Weekly