Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.
To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.
Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!
What a great way to spend a Friday!
Today’s feature is a recent acquisition: Late in the Day, by Tessa Hadley, 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.
Beginning: They were listening to music when the telephone rang. It was a summer’s evening, nine o’clock. They had finished supper and Christine was listening with intensity, sitting with her feet tucked under her in the armchair; she recognized the music although she didn’t know what it was. Alex had chosen it, he hadn’t consulted her and now she stubbornly wouldn’t ask—he took too much pleasure in knowing what she didn’t know.
56: Alex’s withdrawn silences, when he was with his friends, didn’t do any harm to the reputation he had as the rarest, most talented among them; and then when he did talk he was original, forceful and funny.
Synopsis: 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 twenties. 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.
Would you keep reading? I am curious about this one, and hope to enjoy it.