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The Past

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Another work of quiet brilliance by Hadley! As Ron Charles, book editor of The Washington Post, says in his review “The Past” is one of those books that withers in summary. It is hard to describe this and other Hadley novels and stories without them sounding a little like watching paint drying. But in The Past, Hadley captures with beautiful words the story of a reunion of four adult siblings, two children and a couple of teenagers, at their ancestral home of their Grandparents. Will the 3-week holiday they've decided on be the last time they gather here? They have come together to ultimately decide whether it's time to sell the house that stands empty, used only for holidays.

There are shades of Woolf’s To The Lighthouse in the ebb and flows, but for me it’s not in that league, although it held my interest and I enjoyed it.

We've all been there: the family reunion that's looked forward to but also dreaded. In Tessa Hadley's latest novel, THE PAST, she reunites four siblings at the ancestral home of their grandparents in the English countryside. The plan is to spend three relaxing weeks together while ultimately deciding what to do with the house which is badly in need of repairs. Rivalry, unruly desire and ugly secrets poison a family holiday in this gripping novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Free Love and Late in the Day. It’s in the arrangements of the language that the intelligence and the taste show up. Are those words, in that sequence, clumsy? Banal? Hyped-up, or showing off? And then, if not, if the book’s good, you settle into trusting it. If the book’s good, each successive sentence adds something you’ve never known before.

It took me some time to get to her, but oh, what an absolute gift this reading was. I have NO idea what all these "reviewers" on Goodreads are complaining about. Don't even get me started. Seriously. I can't. Cada um lembra-se da sua história naquela casa onde cresceram. Cada um tem uma história para contar.Three sisters, (Harriet, Alice, and Fran), and one brother, ( Roland), and their children return home to their country home. Elegant, witty, understated, quiet” are adjectives I’d use to describe author Tessa Hadley’s writing. I read “The Past” for the pure pleasure of reading. It’s a novel that one wants to reread passages because the writing is so elegant. a b Christopher Stuart (2003), "Henry James and the Imagination of Pleasure (review)" (PDF), Studies in American Fiction, 31: 125–26, doi: 10.1353/saf.2003.0009, S2CID 141186702– via Project MUSE

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