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Nothing in these ordinary lives is so ordinary after all, it turns out, as the family's upheaval mirrors the dramatic transformation of the society around them.

With scalpel-sharp insight, Tessa Hadley explores her characters' inner worlds, laying bare their fears and longings.

From Tessa Hadley, bestselling author of Late in the Day and The Past, comes a compulsive new novel about one woman's sexual and intellectual awakening in 1960s London From Tessa Hadley, bestselling author of Late in the Day and The Past, comes a compulsive new novel about one woman's sexual and intellectual awakening in 1960s London 1967. While London comes alive with the new youth revolution, the suburban Fischer family seems to belong to an older world of conventional stability- pretty, dutiful homemaker Phyllis is married to Roger, a devoted father with a career in the Foreign Office. Their children are Colette, a bookish teenager, and Hugh, the golden boy. But when the twenty-something son of an old friend pays the Fischers a visit one hot summer evening, and kisses Phyllis in the dark garden after dinner, something in her catches fire. Newly awake to the world, Phyllis makes a choice that defies all expectations of her as a wife and a mother. Nothing in these ordinary lives is so ordinary after all, it turns out, as the family's upheaval mirrors the dramatic transformation of the society around them. With scalpel-sharp insight, Tessa Hadley explores her characters' inner worlds, laying bare their fears and longings. Daring and sensual, Free Love is a compulsive, irresistible exploration of romantic love, sexual freedom and living out the truest and most meaningful version of our lives. 'She has such great psychological insights into human beings, which is rare. She is one of the best fiction writers writing today.' Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 'Tessa Hadley recruits admirers with each book. She writes with authority, and with delicacy- she explores nuance, but speaks plainly; she is one of those writers a reader trusts.' Hilary Mantel

Details

ISBN13: 9781787333673
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 320
Edition:
Publication Date: 20 Jan 2022
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 22.2(H) x 14.4(W)437
Weight (gm): 437

Author Biography

Tessa Hadley is the author of seven highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, Clever Girl, The Past, Late in the Day and three collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love and Bad Dreams. She won a Windham-Campbell prize for Fiction in 2016, The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker.

Reviews

So real and humane and utterly transporting; fresh and yet, with the feeling of a beloved classic. -- Meg Mason, author of SORROW AND BLISS
I utterly LOVED this book!!!!! Tessa Hadley might be my new favourite writer... she is wonderful. -- Marian Keyes
A beguiling novel, deceptively easy to read; beneath the surface swim disturbing and age-old questions about freedom and fate. -- Hilary Mantel
Tessa Hadley is my favourite author. -- Kate Atkinson
Beautifully structured and brilliantly paced. It displays Tessa Hadley's extraordinary skill at making both surface life and deep interiors come fully alive. -- Colm Toibin
I was utterly transported. Tessa Hadley is a true writer and this is such an enthralling novel, just so properly attentive to life. -- Sunjeev Sahota
Tessa Hadley knows everything there is to know about the intricate, complex, contradictory workings of the human mind and heart. Her power to embed that understanding in unfailingly intelligent prose is unmatched in contemporary fiction. -- Neel Mukherjee
Artful, profound and subtle . . . what a great writer she is. -- Geoff Dyer
In keen, lush prose, Hadley conveys the many ways her characters delude themselves amid fraught relationships between parents and children as well as between lovers. The result is sumptuous and surprising. * Publishers Weekly *
A sumptuous stylist, Hadley is a writer for whom language trumps all else. Any publication of hers, whether of short or long fiction, is cause for celebration for the pure pleasure of the prose. -- Mia Levitin * Financial Times *
Free Love is an absolute joy to read from a writer who never puts a word wrong. Fans of Small Pleasures will love it. -- Sarra Manning * Red *
Pacy and packed with well-drawn characters. * Sunday Telegraph, *Books to Look Out For 2022* *
Compelling. -- Erica Wagner * Harper's Bazaar *
Hadley is our great novelist of bourgeois domesticity, sensitive to its emotional perturbations and...devotedly attentive to its gorgeous solidity. -- James Marriott * The Times *
Hadley... has the gift for bringing everything she has, sees and knows to the characters she creates... Free Love is brilliantly plotted and keeps its secret through two-thirds of its length so faithfully, I did not even begin to guess at the hugely satisfying slipknot ahead. -- Kate Kellaway * Observer *
No one is better than Tessa Hadley at capturing the secret longing that presides within her many wonderful characters. Her latest, written in her usual crisp, absorbing prose, charts the sexual awakening of one woman in 1960s London. -- Jessie Thompson * Evening Standard, *Books to Look Out For 2022* *
Achingly moving and real... Hadley's poignant drawing together of a situation...shows a writer with boundless compassion. Yet again, she offers insightful and sensitive understanding of the quiet compromises people make to survive in a deeply compromised world. -- Michael Donkor * Guardian *
A fascinating portrait of a world of politics, manners, morals and the decline of empire in a period of rapid societal change... Hadley writes compellingly fascinating characters viewed from every angle, perfectly encapsulating an era of change. -- Kirsty McLuckie * Scotsman *
A gorgeously magnanimous novel, which reprises Hadley's favoured themes of middle age, and how - and when, and if - to change one's life. -- Stephanie Sy-Quia * Spectator *
Daring and sensual, Free Love is a compulsive exploration of love, sexual freedom and living out the most meaningful version of our lives. * SheerLuxe *
Free Love: 'So real and humane and utterly transporting' - Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss
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