Skip to content

The Past by Tessa Hadley - Reading guide

Four siblings meet up in their grandparents’ old house for three long, hot summer weeks. But under the idyllic surface lie shattering tensions.

Roland has come with his new wife, and his sisters don’t like her. Fran has brought her children, who soon uncover an ugly secret in a ruined cottage in the woods. Alice has invited Kasim, an outsider, who makes plans to seduce Roland’s teenage daughter. And Harriet, the eldest, finds her quiet self-possession ripped apart when passion erupts unexpectedly.

Over the course of the holiday, a familiar way of life falls apart forever.

‘Few writers give me such consistent pleasure’ Zadie Smith

News

The Radio 2 Book Club with Steve Wright

The Radio 2 Book Club is part of Steve Wright In The Afternoon. Each month Steve will interview the chosen authors, as well as having brilliant guest stars and real-life listeners on the show to talk about the books too. The Book Club showcases the best in brand-new fiction, from dazzling debuts to blockbuster bestsellers.

Resources

How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

News

Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

View our other programmes