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Publisher's Summary

Clever Girl follows the story of Stella, from her childhood with her single mother in a Bristol bedsit in the 1960s into the mysterious shallows of her middle age. The story is full of drama - violent deaths, an abrupt end to Stella's schooldays, two sons by different fathers – yet it is Hadley’s observation of ordinary lives, of the way men and women think and feel and interact, that dazzles.

©2013 Tessa Hadley (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • a white
  • 10-19-16

Clever Girl- wonderfully written and read

I loved the writing in this book, the use of language was awe inspiring and I savoured every moment.
Julie Teale's narration was utterly fantastic. Her voice is just beautiful and she is pitch perfect. 5* all the way!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 07-03-15

Beutifully observed and crafted

If you could sum up Clever Girl in three words, what would they be?

Intelligent Thoughtful Entertaining

What was one of the most memorable moments of Clever Girl?

It is not a book of memorable moments but rather a developing relationship with the 'clever girl'; Stella. I particularly enjoyed the description of a 1970's adolescence, which I also remember.

What about Julie Teal’s performance did you like?

The developing character was evident in her performance as Stella grows older

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I wanted to savour it over time

Any additional comments?

This book is my first reading of a novel by Tessa Hedley. I chose it after hearing her compared with Anne Tyler. Whilst not quite as witty, the comparison is a good one as Tessa Hedley focuses on the detail of lives, relationships and the way that life just happens sometimes. Stella is torn between selfishness and putting others first; between pleasure and duty. Not always entirely likeable, Stella is a well developed and believable character who's life, like most lives, does not go to plan and is not always predictable. Told with the benefit of maturity, there is an enjoyable cynical tone to Stella's recollections.