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Late in the Day

A Novel
Narrated by: Abigail Thaw
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)
Regular price: $27.37
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Publisher's Summary

The lives of two close-knit couples are irrevocably changed by an untimely death in the latest from Tessa Hadley, the acclaimed novelist and short story master who “recruits admirers with each book” (Hilary Mantel).

Alexandr and Christine and Zachary and Lydia have been friends since they first met in their 20s. Thirty years later, Alex and Christine are spending a leisurely summer’s evening at home when they receive a call from a distraught Lydia: She is at the hospital. Zach is dead.

In the wake of this profound loss, the three friends find themselves unmoored; all agree that Zach, with his generous, grounded spirit, was the irreplaceable one they couldn’t afford to lose. Inconsolable, Lydia moves in with Alex and Christine. But instead of loss bringing them closer, the three of them find over the following months that it warps their relationships, as old entanglements and grievances rise from the past and love and sorrow give way to anger and bitterness.

Late in the Day explores the complex webs at the center of our most intimate relationships, to expose how beneath the seemingly dependable arrangements we make for our lives lie infinite alternate configurations. Ingeniously moving between past and present and through the intricacies of her characters’ thoughts and interactions, Tessa Hadley once again “crystallizes the atmosphere of ordinary life in prose somehow miraculous and natural” (Washington Post).

©2019 Tessa Hadley (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd.

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  • Elliott
  • Palo Alto, CA, United States
  • 01-24-19

Older And ?Wiser

Superior narration of a common story of real relationships. Author Hadley's dialogues were worthy of a second listen for me. A novel that teaches as it tells.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Evocative, complex, like places and people.

What do not say to others, even our lovers? What do we keep hidden or reveal?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It's all in the performance

I'd give this narrator (10) stars if I could ! She was so good ! This book is all about the inter-relationships between (2) British couples, and because it's all bout those personalities and relationships, the actual plot is minimal. This kind of book needs a good narrator to keep it interesting. Bravo Abigail Thaw !

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating in-depth study of relationships

Tessa Hadley begins with an onion and slowly peels away one layer after another to reveal the relationships and history between the members of two intertwined families. The death of the husband of one family is the jumping-off point for the novel, and as the book goes on, the author takes us more and more deeply into the lives of her characters. It's very well-written, and I found the book engrossing and very affecting. My only quibble is that I had trouble understanding the attraction of Lydia for everyone else; she seemed shallow, self-centered, and not worthy of the attention of the other three adults.

Abigail Thaw does a marvelous job with the narration, and I hope she does more books. Her narration brought Juliet Stevenson to mind.