Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Past by Tessa Hadley

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Tessa Hadley's latest, The Past.

Siblings Harriet, Roland, Alice, and Fran are to spend three weeks vacationing at the family home in Kington while they decide what to do with the place. After years of holding onto the abode and all the memories it holds, they finally have to face the fact that the upkeep is just too much. 

Harriet arrives alone, Alice brings her ex's college-age son Kasim, Fran's husband is suspiciously absent but her two children Ivy and Arthur are in tow and desperate for an adventure. Roland arrives late with his brand new bride and his own teenage daughter, Molly. From the start everyone is a bit on edge and quick to take umbrage with their fellow housemates' actions and comments. It'll be a tense visit, but one that the siblings have vowed to see through to the end. 

The Past wasn't quite my cup of tea. Tessa Hadley has a beautiful writing style, one that definitely puts the reader right smack dab in the middle of the crumbling house and its surroundings, not to mention the family drama. Fans of character-driven stories will no doubt love that aspect and gobble up this book - especially fans of somewhat dysfunctional family stories.

I admit, though, that I need a bit more plot to really get excited about a story. The actual book's description (I've linked the Goodreads page via the cover art here) promises "...hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities..." And yes, those are present, to an extent, just not to the extent that I'd hoped.

I wanted drama, I wanted awkward moments, I wanted the secrets to be devastating. All in all I just wanted the book to be more exciting than it really was.

Again, I've no doubt that fans of more quiet novels and character studies will love The Past. Fans of Tessa Hadley's work will likely be pleased as well (I've not read her prior to this one). Newcomers with expectations in line with my own will probably, sadly, walk away with the same meh response I had.

Rating: 3/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I do love the cover of this book. It is captivating and pretty to me.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!