Cover image for Late in the day
Title:
Late in the day
ISBN:
9780062476692
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Physical Description:
273 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"First published in the United Kingdom in 2019 by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Vintage Publishing"--Title page verso.
Summary:
"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

"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).


Author Notes

Tessa Hadley teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University College in Cardiff, Wales.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hadley's perceptive, finely wrought novel (after Bad Dreams) traces the impact of the death of one man on three others. When affable art gallery owner Zachary dies suddenly in his 50s, he leaves behind not only his flamboyant and determinedly helpless widow, Lydia, but also the couple closest to them, Alex and Christine. Alex, an acerbic failed poet turned primary school teacher, and Christine, an artist who frequently exhibits her work in Zach's gallery, have a long, complicated relationship with Zach and Lydia. Christine and Lydia, friends since childhood, met the two slightly older men when the young women were just out of college. Lydia set her sights on the melancholy Alex, who barely noticed her. Instead, he settled into a relationship with the at first reluctant Christine after her brief fling with Zach, who was actually infatuated with Lydia. Over the years, the two couples settled into the passive happiness of married life, but Zach's death forces Lydia, Alex, and Christine to finally confront the feelings Alex and Lydia have for each other. As the two move forward together, and Christine, to her own surprise, discovers that she relishes time alone, Alex and Christine's daughter Grace decides to make a death mask of her father, and moves in with Alex and Christine's daughter Isobel. Hadley is a writer of the first order, and this novel gives her the opportunity to explore, with profound incisiveness and depth, the inevitable changes inherent to long-lasting marriages. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Hadley (The Past , 2016) brings readers into the world of a complicated quartet of friends and lovers. Spanning more than 30 years, the story introduces Alexandr, Christine, Lydia, and Zachary on the day a sudden heart attack claims Zachary's life. Lydia is so distraught at the loss of her husband that Christine invites her to stay with her and Alex. At first, the long relationships among the quartet seem straightforward: Christine and Alex have been married for decades, as had Lydia and Zachary. But then Hadley brings readers back in time to when Christine and Lydia, friends from childhood, first met Alex and Zachary. Back then, Alex was a French professor married to his first wife, Juliet, and it was Lydia who was hopelessly infatuated with him and who schemed to set Christine up with Alex's good friend, Zachary. Hadley traces the friends' relationships through the decades, not only revealing the evolution of their friendships and romances but also the rise and fall of their youthful ambitions and artistic passions. A layered and compelling read.--Kristine Huntley Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

THE WATER CURE, by Sophie Mackintosh. (Doubleday, $25.95.) In this sumptuous yet sparsely written debut, three sisters - living off the grid with their abusive parents - are taught to fear men. There is a distinctly cultlike element to the family dynamics: It is increasingly clear to the reader that these young women have been raised to fit their patriarch's ideal of what pure, fragile, privileged white womanhood should be. UNQUIET, by Linn Ullmann. Translated by Thilo Reinhard. (Norton, $25.95.) A novel that recaptures memories of the author's life with her parents, Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman, portraying a family that was splintered from the start. THE AGE OF SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, by Shoshana Zuboff. (PublicAffairs, $38.) This intensively researched, engaging book examines how tech behemoths like Facebook and Google gather personal data they can manipulate in unprecedented ways. BLUFF CITY: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers, by Preston Lauterbach. (Norton, $27.95.) Lauterbach's vibrant study of Withers, a black photographer in Memphis who documented the civil rights era while also serving as an informant for the F.B.I., doubles as a love letter to Withers's hometown. THE BIRTH OF LOUD: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the GuitarPioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll, by Ian S. Port. (Scribner, $28.) A scrupulously sourced, flashily written narrative about the (inevitable) coming of the electric guitar. No one person invented it, but Fender and Paul were crucial to its development. Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix et al. took it from there. PRISONER: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison - Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy, and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out, by Jason Rezaian. (Anthony Bourdain/Ecco/ HarperCollins, $29.99.) The former Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post recalls his false arrest. NERVOUS STATES: Democracy and the Decline of Reason, by William Davies. (Norton, $27.95.) This intellectual tour de force blends psychology, biology, economics, philosophy and religion to show how centuries of unreason gird today's right-wing populism. GENESIS BEGINS AGAIN, by Alicia D. Williams. (Caitlin Dlouhy/Atheneum, $17.99; ages 9 to 13.) In this tender, empowering debut, a 13-year-old grapples with her family's financial instability and the internalized racism that makes her hate her dark skin. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: nytimes.com/books