The Past

the past cover image The Past

Tessa Hadley
Harper Collins
Hardcover, 320 pages

Many of us up here have experienced the drama of being in a circle of siblings faced with dealing with a treasured country house or cottage. As was said about old age, “It ain’t for sissies”! Likewise for familial co-ownership! Here four adult siblings have inherited their grandparent’s country home and are there for their annual reunion. They are faced with the problem of what to do with it. The tangled memories and relationships range from les evenements of Paris in May, 1968 to the “disappeared” in 1970’s Argentina. Hadley writes with magical phrasing and seems to get everything just right. Her clear-sightedness and sensitivity are reminiscent of Alice Munro.  An odd factoid: there is a character named Grantham Fellowes - shades of Downton Abbey!  Wonderful book!