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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Accidents in the Home

Accidents in the Home

A Novel

Tessa Hadley

Henry Holt and Co.


A powerful literary debut chronicling a year in the life of one thoroughly modern family

Clare Verey, a twenty-nine-year-old mother of three, bakes her own bread and grinds her own spices. She has a comfortable home in the suburbs and a devoted husband. Why is it, then, that when her best friend's lover appears in her life he has the power to invert her world? Why is the desire for more never satisfied?

So begins Accidents in the Home, a novel that exposes the emotional underbelly of a modern-day family. Clare's narrative is deftly intertwined with the stories of her extended family: her mother, Marian, the clever daughter of a Dostoevsky scholar whose husband leaves her for a beautiful young art student; Clare's half brother, Toby, a dreamy boy who prefers to view life through the lens of a camera; her troubled younger half sister, Tamsin, who develops an apparatus of taboos and rituals to restore order to her chaotic past.

In the world Tessa Hadley has created, family is no longer a steady foundation but a complex web of marriages, divorces, half siblings, and stepchildren that expands with every new connection and betrayal. Accidents in the Home offers a startling, intimate portrait of family life in our time.

Praise for Accidents in the Home

“[A] surprising and rewarding novel...a panorama of a contemporary kind of family life.” —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

“[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)

“. . . Hadley charts both the complex workings of the outside world and the tangled inner landscapes of the mind and heart . . .” —Elizabeth Graver, author of The Honey Thief


Reviews from Goodreads

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.

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Rob Clifford

Tessa Hadley

Read Tessa Hadley in the New Yorker