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Riskless business: Tessa Hadley’s new novel plays it too safe

For all her virtues, Hadley's Late in the Day suffers from an excessive timidity

Tessa Hadley's novels are often called "reassuring". Photo: PA

Like her earlier novel The Past (2015), Tessa Hadley’s Late in the Day narrates the fortunes of a quartet of middle-class bed-hoppers; this group is older but no wiser than its predecessor. Other people hover at the edges of the two novels; however, the foursome is the basic unit at the heart of both works, whether it’s two couples (Late in the Day) or four siblings (The Past). Sexual infidelity may be the order of the day, but more…

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