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Accidents in the Home
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Accidents in the Home

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Clare Menges is the twenty-nine-year-old suburban mother of three, but her comfortable world is disrupted when her best friend’s lover appears in her life. Anyway Clare’s perfect life was never what it seemed; the world of her family is a complicated and fraught web of marriages and divorces, half-siblings and stepchildren, broken homes and homes reassembled. As Clare’s re ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Picador (first published April 23rd 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 337)
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Sara Strand
I got this book in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble and it was good. A little different ending than I thought- but good nonetheless. It's about Clare, a 29 year old mom of 3 who is basically considered a stay at home mom. She's married and has, essentially, the perfect life. When her best friend visits with her new lover (whom Clare knows from years before) she suddenly realizes she wants more out of life. She is overwhelmed with her current life and is kind of jealous of the care free life ...more
I had not come across this author before reading a review of her latest novel so I looked for and found this one in our local library.
While the main character in the book is a housewife (Clare) with 3 children and an unfinished Ph.D thesis, it is divided up into sections each of which revolves around a member of her extended family, so that in some ways, it reads like a book of linked short stories. CLare's father has been married 3 times and produced children from each marriage so Chare has sev
This is my second Tessa Hadley book. She has a strong ability to capture the small moments in family life. Things like peeling potatoes while reviewing the details of purchasing lingerie in preparation for a tryst. Or throwing the pasta maker at your husband's new girlfriend. These small acts tell us about the dysfunction in the large blended Menges family. Graham marries three times and has children with each wife. Clare, Graham's first daughter, is a bored housewife, with an unfinished PhD in ...more
I did really like this, not as much as the two more recent Hadley books that I read, but still a lot. It's a larger cast of characters, a family spreading out to mother and friends and complications. She manages to hurl all of these plates into the air and keep them spinning by doing what she does so well...linking stories together to create a world that moves in and out of different characters' lives and back and forth in time. It took me a while to keep the characters straight, and I did find ...more
Ryan Williams
Somehow the first book you read by an author colours everything by them you read afterwards. That's more or less the way I regard this book. It became the yardstick for everything else. Hadley has published shorter, longer and perhaps in some ways more aesthetically satisfying novels since, as well as a series of finely tuned tales in The New Yorker. But this was my first taste of...the magic.

(Incidentally, I would say this even if Hadley hadn't once been my teacher, and this book came out not l
Courtney Johnston
This book scared me. It scared me with the ease that the central character, bored suburban 29-year-old mother of three Clare, walked away from her life to try to recapture - in shameful, sad failure - what she once had, or the life she thought she might have.

It scared me with Hadley's ability to nail that nasty, shaming, nagging sense of dissatisfaction that creeps up on you, that feeling that you deserve - if not better, then different.

Clare thought while she was reading this novel that perhaps
The main issue in this book is sort of a love triangle between Clare, the main character, Helly, her best friend, and a man that is now with Helly, but was intimate with Clare a long time ago. It's not necessarily a love triagle because Clare is married with children and she wants to stay dedicated, but it does complicate things a lot. The book switches around a lot and looks at the other complex and messed up situations in other parts of Clare's family, like her father being re-married three di ...more
This book has a large cast of characters. People are intertwined in marriages, affairs, and family relationships that are at times confusing. This is a book to read for its amazing prose. There is never a false note struck.
Sonja Reid
I've read and loved short stories by Tessa Hadley in the New Yorker, but I haven't been so crazy about her novel. It contains some of the same wonderful observations of one's inner life that Hadley has done before. The plot involved many different characters in an extended family, and I couldn't keep them straight. Apparently others couldn't either since she included a genealogy at the front of the book. While I thought that the focus on the individual dissatisfactions of the characters was inte ...more
Watching dissolution of relationships.
A little dark about hidden small secrets within any family.
Tessa Hadley forced me to rethink the idea of "family." Accidents in the Home demonstrates how ex-wives, half-siblings, the child of ex-husband, stepmother(s), stepgrandmother, all could melt into a family, essentially defined by this novel as people-accidentally-connected-by-marital-relations-but-are-nevertheless-loyal-to-one-another-and-constant-in-their-loyalty-and-love.

It does remind me of the first family here. :)

Kasey Jueds
I love all of Tessa Hadley's books. She writes so beautifully about women's lives, and the hard-to-put-into-words emotions that seem both confusing and universal. Whenever I read her I recognize myself in her characters, even though my outer life is very different from theirs: a cause for celebration, and one that always makes me feel companioned and comforted.
Skai Leja
I particularly liked the description of how one of the characters went about disengaging from her husband in anticipation of launching into an affair. It's not clear whether the affair is ever consummated but the marriage ends anyway. It's a small part of the book but particularly resonant to me...
Tessa Hadley sure knows how to capitalize the "D" for a dysfunctional family. More women appear, and even a husband (Graham) who's had three wives and assorted children. The wives are either at war with each other or is sheltering one another. Such middle-aged tempatations!
Not bad. It has the feeling of a Joanna Trollope novel with a dollop of Iris Murdoch. The drawback is that there are too many characters in too short a book. Either cut down on the cast, or make the book a lot longer and spend more time with each.
Sarah Smith
Complex and harsh at times. I may not have finished it if it weren't required for a class. I'm glad I did, though, because it contained one of the most beautiful gestures of love I've ever read.
Gretchen Achilles
I like this author, the plot seemed a bit meandering, I would have liked more backstory, it could have explained some of the behaviors/decisions that seemed inconsistent.
Complicated, intriguing -- but ultimately the novel feels a bit scrappy and unfinished. Scary and spot-on observations about the lives of women make it definitely worth reading.
Vy Nguyen
I didnt like this at all, couldnt connect with any of the characters, all very annoying had to force my way through this.
Jun 23, 2012 Lori added it
her writing style is beautiful but you end up hating all the characters, not one likeable thing about any of them
Another good read...well-written, in-depth portrait of the complications of modern families/love lives.
Do our friends really have a better life?
Very different type of book.
This is just a bad novel.
Liese marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2015
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2015
Isaw marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
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Tessa Hadley is the author of Sunstroke and Other Stories, and the novels The Master Bedroom, Everything Will Be All Right, and Accidents in the Home. She lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University.
More about Tessa Hadley...
The London Train Clever Girl Married Love and Other Stories Sunstroke and Other Stories The Master Bedroom

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