The London Train

The London Train

Paperback

By (author) Tessa Hadley

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 26mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 20 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099552264
  • ISBN 13: 9780099552260
  • Sales rank: 80,729

Product description

"The London Train" is a novel in two parts, separate but wound together around a single moment, examining in vivid detail two lives stretched between two cities. Paul lives in the Welsh countryside with his wife Elise, and their two young children. The day after his mother dies he learns that his eldest daughter Pia, who was living with his ex-wife in London, has moved out from home and gone missing. He sets out in search of Pia, and when he eventually finds her, living with her lover in a chaotic flat in a tower block in King's Cross, he thinks at first he wants to rescue her. But the search for his daughter begins a period of unrest and indecision for Paul: he is drawn closer to the hub of London, to the excitements of a life lived in jeopardy, to Pia's fragile new family. Paul's a pessimist; when a heat wave scorches the capital week after week he fears that they are all 'sleep-walking to the edge of a great pit, like spoiled trusting children'. In the opposite direction, Cora is moving back to Cardiff, to the house she has inherited from her parents. She is escaping her marriage, and the constrictions and disappointments of her life in London. At work in the local library, she is interrupted by a telephone call from her sister-in-law and best friend, to say that her husband has disappeared. Connecting both stories is the London train, and a chance meeting that will have immediate and far-reaching consequences for both Paul and for Cora. "The London Train" is a vivid and absorbing account of the impulses and accidents that can shape our lives, alongside our ideas; about loyalty, love, sex and the complicated bonds of friends and family. Penetrating, perceptive, and wholly absorbing, it is an extraordinary new novel from one of the best writers working in Britain today.

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Author information

Tessa Hadley is the author of three highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, and The Master Bedroom, and a collection of stories, Sunstroke. She lives in Cardiff and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University. Her stories appear regularly in The New Yorker, Granta and other magazines.

Review quote

"This beautifully evoked fourth novel is a further example of her talents" -- Rachel Hore Literary Review "Darkly elegant...Hadley writes with grace and intensity, moving from careful, beautiful delineation of character and place...to moments of haunting power. She is brilliant, too, at offering us different perspectives" Financial Times "Tessa Hadley is an understated writer whose concentration on the details of everyday life belies a breathtaking acuity and articulateness... She once again visualizes the monochrome maundanity of ordinary existence in glorious Technicolor... Hadley captures shades of almost imperceptible grey that the reader only recognizes after reading... Hadley shows, with dizzying aplomb, that the distinction between "literary" fiction and the best domestic fiction is spurious." -- Leyla Sani Independent "Serene style and carefully constructed scenes" -- Alex Clark Times Literary Review "Hadley's shrewd observation gains in distinction with every book she writes" Independent