A moving, multifaceted novel explores how a sudden death changes the lives of two British couples and their children.
More than 30 years of love and friendship--and the loyalty and betrayals therein--are central to Late in the Day, a psychologically astute novel by Tessa Hadley. The story launches with a death that disrupts the lives of two British couples bonded inextricably since their college years.
Zachary Samuels, one of the four, dies suddenly from a heart incident. The death of this middle-aged gallery owner overwhelms his needy, helpless wife, Lydia. And this tragic news also shocks the lives of Lydia and Zachary's closest friends: Christine, an artist who had many showings at Zach's gallery, and her husband, Alexandr, a poet who gave up his writing dreams to become headmaster at a progressive primary school.
Zach is absent throughout the narrative, but his presence looms large in these three lives--and those of the offspring of each respective couple. In Zach's wake, roads not taken are reconsidered, affections shift and old wounds and jealousies are resurrected. This all leads to responses and actions that ultimately upend these once seemingly settled lives.
As in her other work, Hadley (The Past) has a firm grasp on the complexity of grief and the strengths and foibles of human nature. This exquisitely rendered, character-driven novel probes emotional depths of an ensemble cast of ordinary people who are forced to come to grips with the meaning of life through loss and death.
Harper, $26.99, Hardcover, 97800062476692, 288 pages
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
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NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (January 15, 2019), link HERE