Sunday, 9 January 2011

Book of the Week - Tessa Hadley, The London Train

The London Train is Tessa Hadley’s fourth novel. Her novels are studies of relationships, well written and reflective, and The London Train falls into this pattern. There two main protagonists, Paul (a writer) and Cora (wife of a senior civil servant), both living in Wales and dealing with the aftermath of parental death and a broken marriage. It has been well reviewed and is the sort of book which might do well in the Orange Prize, or as an outside chance for the Booker. Signed copies should begin to appear later this month.

Hadley lives in Cardiff and teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, her special interests including Jane Austen, Henry James, Jean Rhys and Elizabeth Bowen. She reviews regularly for the London Review of Books. She wrote a study of Henry James in 2002 – Henry James and the Imagination of Pleasure – and is the author of three previous novels: Accidents in the Home (2002); Everything Will Be All Right (2003); and The Master Bedroom (2007). Her short stories have been published in The New Yorker and Granta, and a collection, Sunstroke and other stories, was published in 2007.

"Paul lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife Elise, and their two young children. The day after his mother dies he learns that his eldest daughter Pia, who was living with his ex-wife in London, has gone missing. He sets out in search of Pia. But the search for his daughter begins a period of unrest and indecision."

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