Accidents in the Home by Tessa Hadley
A Novel

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A powerful literary debut chronicling a year in the life of one thoroughly modern family

Clare Verey, a twenty-nine-year-old mother of three, bakes her own bread and grinds her own spices. She has a comfortable home in the suburbs and a devoted husband. Why is it, then, that when her best friend's lover appears in her life he has the power to invert her world? Why is the desire for more never satisfied?

So begins Accidents in the Home, a novel that exposes the emotional underbelly of a modern-day family. Clare's narrative is deftly intertwined with the stories of her extended family: her mother, Marian, the clever daughter of a Dostoevsky scholar whose husband leaves her for a beautiful young art student; Clare's half brother, Toby, a dreamy boy who prefers to view life through the lens of a camera; her troubled younger half sister, Tamsin, who develops an apparatus of taboos and rituals to restore order to her chaotic past.

In the world Tessa Hadley has created, family is no longer a steady foundation but a complex web of marriages, divorces, half siblings, and stepchildren that expands with every new connection and betrayal. Accidents in the Home offers a startling, intimate portrait of family life in our time.


About Tessa Hadley

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Tessa Hadley is the author of four highly praised novels: Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; Everything Will Be All Right; The Master Bedroom; and The London Train; and a previous collection of stories, Sunstroke, a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker. She lives in Cardiff and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University.
Published May 1, 2003 by Henry Holt and Co.. 264 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Fortunately, it soon takes a turn toward somewhat greater interest, as the author takes a step back from Clare’s problem and comes at the story from the point of view of Clare’s son, Toby, then back to Clare, then Clare’s mother, Marian, and so on.

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The Guardian

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Accidents in the Home Tess Hadley Cape £10, pp245 Crow Lake Mary Lawson Chatto & Windus £12, pp295 Sex Education Janni Visman Bloomsbury £12.99, pp212 The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done Sandra Newman Chatto & Windus £10.99, pp377 Truth can be stranger than fiction: this month brings four go...

Apr 14 2002 | Read Full Review of Accidents in the Home: A Novel

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