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January 30 , 2014

The Past

A Novel
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Overview

“An exquisite writer, a writer’s writer, with a fine eye for detail and a way of crafting sentences that make you stop and inhale . . .Hadley should be a bestseller rather than literary fiction’s best kept secret.”—The Times (London)

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Escape: The Past: 'Living Fast' Redefined As Bangkok Hilton Escapee David Mcmillan Opens His Past As A Teenage Drug-Trafficker

In this gripping prequel to ‘Escape’, drug smuggler-turned-bestselling author David McMillan starts from the beginning and tells how he made his first million dealing drugs by age 21. He details his plans to smuggle marijuana by Learjet, befriend drug-dealing pimps in Bangkok brothels and transport liquid heroin in glass statues.…

Three sisters and a brother, complete with children, a new wife, and an ex-boyfriend’s son, descend on their grandparents’ dilapidated old home in the Somerset countryside for a final summer holiday, where simmering tensions and secrets rise to the surface over three long, hot weeks.The house is full of memories of their childhood and their past—their mother took them there to live when she left their father—but now, they may have to sell it. And beneath the idyllic pastoral surface lie tensions.

Sophisticated and sleek, Roland’s new wife (his third) arouses his sisters’ jealousies and insecurities.
Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alice’s ex-boyfriend, becomes enchanted with Molly, Roland’s sixteen-year-old daughter. Fran’s young children make an unsettling discovery in an abandonedcottage in the woods that shatters their innocence. Passion erupts where it’s least expected, leveling the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister. As the family’s stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life—bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican—winds down to its inevitable end.

Over five novels and two collections of stories, Tessa Hadley has earned a reputation as a fiction writer of remarkable gifts. She brings all of her considerable skill to The Past, a work of breathtaking scope and beauty—her most ambitious and accomplished novel yet.

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