For the last few days of my stay in Melbourne I have chosen lighter reading and this my first foray into the writing of Tessa Hadley.
Fortyish Kate has decided to give up a 20 year career and go back to Cardiff to the crumbling family home to look after a senile mother. Something that a lot of people have to face and a rather tough choice to make.
Kate confused over her decision as to the right or wrong of it connects up with David who shares her love of the arts and music. David's wife Suzie finds opera pretentious and is scathing in her views of this kind of music.
The story deals not only with the breakdown of the relationship between David and Suzie but also deals with the traumatic relationship that develops when an older parent becomes the child and the child has to become the parent. There is also the sexual relationships that develop in the story - notably the one between Jamie who is David's son and Kate. The complexities of this relationship crash headlong into the attraction that David has for Kate. To add to the complexity you have the change in the nature of quiet, family loving Suzie who becomes totally alienated from her husband who is so puzzled that he does not know what has hit him.
One review described the book as a quiet one - this is very apt. The book takes you along whilst it drifts from one situation to another and it is done harmoniously.
A 337 page book which is a perfect light read.