Married Love, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


This title is the new collection of short stories from award-winning author Tessa Hadley.

Lottie announces at the breakfast table that she is getting married.

The youngest daughter of a large and close-knit family, Lottie is nineteen but looks five years younger.

Her fiance is Edgar Lennox, a composer of religious music and lecturer at Lottie's university, forty-five years her senior.

It is a story of romantic dreams and daily reality, family loyalties tested but holding, and the comedy and solace to be found in small moments.

Evoking a world that expands beyond the pages, it marks the beginning of what is an astonishing collection to treasure.




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The twelve stories collected in Tessa Hadley’s <i>Married Love</i> are carefully observed and, at times, subtle. They tend toward interiors. Lives of middle-class (or aspirationally middle-class) English women and, sometimes, men. Although the decades in which the stories take place vary across the 20th century, the tone is remarkably similar. Indeed, except in special cases, the voice of markedly different characters, even across different stories sounds very much the same. However, it is just those special cases that reveal Tessa Hadley as a writer of significance and almost unsettling calm.The title story, “Married Love”, stands out, while following it closely in intensity are, “A Mouthful of Cut Glass”, “In the Country”, and “Because the Night”. These are unsentimental accounts of insistent lives. An inner something, possibly fire, drives the main character in each. I found them curious without being riveting. Sometimes it is as though the writing is on the verge of being bold and daring and then pulls back. Call it reticence, a very English demeanour.

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