BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley [in Booklist]

With the right posh British accent, even lying, cheating, and all sorts of promiscuity somehow don’t seem as unforgivable. Life, death, and plenty of bed-swapping happen in Tessa Hadley’s latest, elucidated by English actor Abigail Thaw, who reads with such perfect enunciation and elegant control even in the most distraught moments of betrayal.

In what is likely her first solo narration, Thaw introduces Alex and Christine, at home in London listening to music when a phone call from their friend Lydia shatters their artsy, comfortable world: she announces Zachary’s sudden death, skewing a well-balanced quartet forever. Over their three decades together in friendship and relationships, Zachary seems to have been their center: “our lives are thrown into disorder. Of all of us, he’s the one we couldn’t afford to lose.” The three leftover friends must “adapt to this new torn-off shape of [their] lives.”

With admirable restraint – kudos to that British stiff upper lip – Thaw discloses overlapping pasts to reveal compromising futures.

Review: “Media,” Booklist, January 3, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2019


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