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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

From Tessa Hadley, bestselling author of Late in the Day and The Past, comes a compulsive new novel about one woman’s sexual and intellectual awakening in 1960s London

1967. While London comes alive with the new youth revolution, the suburban Fischer family seems to belong to an older world of conventional stability: pretty, dutiful homemaker Phyllis is married to Roger, a devoted father with a career in the Foreign Office. Their children are Colette, a bookish teenager, and Hugh, the golden boy.

But when the twenty-something son of an old friend pays the Fischers a visit one hot summer evening, and kisses Phyllis in the dark garden after dinner, something in her catches fire. Newly awake to the world, Phyllis makes a choice that defies all expectations of her as a wife and a mother. Nothing in these ordinary lives is so ordinary after all, it turns out, as the family’s upheaval mirrors the dramatic transformation of the society around them.

With scalpel-sharp insight, Tessa Hadley explores her characters’ inner worlds, laying bare their fears and longings. Daring and sensual, Free Love is a compulsive, irresistible exploration of romantic love, sexual freedom and living out the truest and most meaningful version of our lives.

‘She has such great psychological insights into human beings, which is rare. She is one of the best fiction writers writing today.’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

‘Tessa Hadley recruits admirers with each book. She writes with authority, and with delicacy: she explores nuance, but speaks plainly; she is one of those writers a reader trusts.’ Hilary Mantel

© Tessa Hadley 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • So real and humane and utterly transporting; fresh and yet, with the feeling of a beloved classic.

    Meg Mason, author of SORROW AND BLISS
  • I utterly LOVED this book!!!!! Tessa Hadley might be my new favourite writer… she is wonderful.

    Marian Keyes
  • A beguiling novel, deceptively easy to read; beneath the surface swim disturbing and age-old questions about freedom and fate.

    Hilary Mantel
  • Tessa Hadley is my favourite author.

    Kate Atkinson
  • Beautifully structured and brilliantly paced. It displays Tessa Hadley’s extraordinary skill at making both surface life and deep interiors come fully alive.

    Colm Tóibín

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