Accidents in the Home A Novel

Tessa Hadley




Trade Paperback

264 Pages


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A New York Times Notable Book

Clare Menges is the twenty-nine-year-old suburban mother of three, but her comfortable world is disrupted when her best friend's lover appears in her life. Anyway, Clare's perfect life was never what it seemed; the world of her family is a complicated and fraught web of marriages and divorces. As Clare's relationships begin to unravel, she notices her life repeating the patterns of those around her. Tessa Hadley has constructed a beautifully fashioned and intimate portrait of family life in our times.


Praise for Accidents in the Home

"[A] surprising and rewarding novel . . . a panorama of a contemporary kind of family life. It's the kind of story each generation must find its own ways of telling, and Hadley has a way of delivering resonant details that both link Clare's plight to a well-known tradition and root it in the present . . . With her intense, concentrated prose style, Hadley is more serious, less funny than her fellow British adultery specialist David Lodge, but she shares his talent for creating multifaceted moral complications."—Maria Russo, The New York Times Book Review

"Accidents in the Home is a stylish, skillful first novel. Hadley is an acute observer of the insinuations of the strange and sinister into even the most outwardly placid life."—The Washington Post Book World

"A domestic soap opera of the very best kind . . . [and] what's best about Hadley's novel is her unflinching clarity about the complexities and ambivalences of family life."—The Baltimore Sun

"Marvelously intricate . . . introduces an author whose intelligence puts her in the company of Carol Shields and Doris Lessing."—The Boston Globe

"[A] captivating first novel, but the thrill of this tale lies in her distinctive characters—their fleeting elation and cleverly plotted contradictions, and the repercussions of their actions."—The Herald Journal (Logan, Utah)

"Directed by a rigorous and acute insight into the human score."—Gretchen Gurujal, The Specimm (Salt Lake City)

"There are plenty of writers honest, witty, and perceptive enough to capture these small, quotidian details, but there are very few who can make proper, pungent, and serious literature out of them. Hadley's book is a match for almost any current critically lauded novel you could name. In fact, you have to wonder whether, if she was male and American and the book was twice as heavy, she wouldn't have the whole of the chattering classes falling at her feet. This writer is a rare and startling gem; she deserves to be read."—The Guardian (London)
"Hadley is a skilled and thoughtful writer, and her characters have much to say about the complexity and durability of marriage."—Library Journal

"Hadley weaves characters' lives and sensibilities into an affecting tapestry of love, loss, pain, and introspection in her debut novel . . . Their stories are compelling and rich in the minutiae of family life."—Publishers Weeky

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Tessa Hadley lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature at Bath Spa University College. Accidents in the Home is her first novel.
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  • Tessa Hadley

  • Tessa Hadley lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature at Bath Spa University College. Accidents in the Home is her first novel.
  • Tessa Hadley Rob Clifford