I adored THE PAST, Hadley’s last novel. When I saw she had a new novel coming I jumped for joy.
LATE IN THE DAY is a character study of two couples who have known each other for thirty years. Best friends. Lydia is married to Zachary who owns a London art gallery. Christine is married to Alex, a poet who teaches at a local school. But things are about to change dramatically as Lydia calls her friends late one evening. Zachary has dropped dead in his gallery.
LATE IN THE DAY is told in alternating time spans. The parts of the story that have Christine and Lydia as students set the tone for their pursuit of their own lives. For instance, I found Lydia to be self-absorbed and flakey. On the other hand Christine was much more settled and scholarly. The Lydia I saw would have gleefully thrown herself in front of a bus to attract the attention of the then-married Alex. She was obsessed with him; convinced she would marry him. He was married to another woman and they had a child at the time. But in the end it’s not Lydia who he marries the second time around.
Said to be a romantic comedy, LATE IN THE DAY has its comic moments. Mostly, it’s going beyond the surface of these characters to find the real deal. This is not a thriller, not a romance novel, but it is a novel of persistence. In fact, to quote my favorite book critic, Ron Charles of the Washington Post, ” Despite its grim opening, this is a novel about the persistence of life, the agonizing but clarifying effect of great loss. Even late in the day, Hadley suggest, there’s still time to begin again.”
We have copies of LATE IN THE DAY by Tessa Hadley available for purchase at Copperfish Books. They’re marked 20% off. Come on in, we’d love to talk books with you.
Sending thanks out to Harper Collins for providing the review copy in exchange for an honest review. Hadley has given us yet another stellar novel.