The Master Bedroom

A Novel

Tessa Hadley


Download Image Tessa Hadley The Master Bedroom

Available Formats


After more than twenty years in London, Kate Flynn has abandoned her career as an academic, rented her apartment in the city, and moved back to live with her mother in the grand old house beside a lake where she grew up. Bored and lonely, Kate meets a childhood friend, David Roberts, at the opera. David is married, but Kate finds herself falling for him against her better judgment.

At the same time, David's seventeen-year-old son is visiting Kate's house in secret, attracted by her eccentricity, her wit, and her shelves full of old books and music. Though she knows the risks, Kate cannot quite resist either man. As both father and son set about their parallel courtships, Tessa Hadley's intricate, graceful novel discovers the anxieties of adulthood, and the hazards of refusing to grow up.

Connect with the Author

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One It was not a sign. Kate refused to let it be a sign. She hated driving anyway. As soon as she got home she was going to sell the car, but of course she had needed it to move all her stuff from London. The backseat was piled with boxes of books and holdalls stuffed with that miscellany of her possessions which it had seemed impossible to leave behind, so high she couldn’t even see out of her rearview mirror. She always expected when she was driving to die at any moment, and braked and changed lanes with desperate recklessness as if she were gambling, but actually what

Read the full excerpt



Praise for The Master Bedroom

"A chess game of slow-burn erotic maneuvers . . . Hadley is a lovely, subtly teasing writer."--The New York Times Book Review

"Truly beautiful prose. Hadley's writing is outright gorgeous, without a misstep or false note. . . . Both artful and realistic and most of all enjoyable."--Newsday

"Elegantly observed . . . Hadley's smart, often prickly characters remind us that love is never simple and happiness rarely wins without sorrow."--People (four stars) 

"Melancholy and starkly emotive . . . evokes the raw drama that lies at the emotional nexus between friends and lovers, husbands and wives, parents and children."--Booklist

"Hadley handily casts her tough but compassionate gaze on the domestic chaos that can erupt from coping with declining parents, the rekindling of old flames, and the sorting-out of a deteriorating marriage."--The Seattle Times

"A perfectly wrought novel . . . [Hadley has] a gift for psychological acuity and an ability to encapsulate the human condition."--The Guardian (UK)

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Tessa Hadley

TESSA HADLEY teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University. She is the author of Sunstroke and Other Stories, Everything Will Be All Right, and Accidents in the Home. Sunstroke and Other Stories was a New York Times Notable Book of 2007, and Accidents in the Home was long-listed for The Guardian's First Book Award. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker. She lives in Cardiff, Wales.

Tessa Hadley


Reading Guide

Organizing a Reading Group


Get the Guide

Download PDF

Tell Your Friends


Find More Books

Go to Website

Stay Updated

Sign Up

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The Master Bedroom
A Novel
Tessa Hadley

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
April 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312427979
ISBN10: 0312427972
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
July 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429934602
ISBN10: 1429934603
352 pages

From The Publisher


Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter