Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes award-winning novelist TESSA HADLEY for a discussion of her latest novel, Free Love. She will be joined in conversation by SUE MILLER, bestselling author of Inventing the Abbotts and The Good Mother.
About Free Love
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 an irresistible exploration of romantic love, sexual freedom and living out the truest and most meaningful version of our selves—a novel that showcases Hadley’s unrivaled ability to “put on paper a consciousness so visceral, so fully realized, it heightens and expands your own” (Lily King, author of Euphoria).
Praise for Free Love
“Free Love is beautifully structured and brilliantly paced. It displays Tessa Hadley’s extraordinary skill at making both surface life and deep interiors come fully alive. Phyllis Fischer’s quest for love and escape is created with drama and excitement, but also with slow care and real delicacy and sympathy.” —Colm Tóibín
“Free Love is a perfect example of the Tessa Hadley problem: her books are so easy on the eye, such a joy to read, it’s possible to forget how artful, profound and subtle they are—and what a great writer she is. ” —Geoff Dyer
“Every book Tessa Hadley writes makes her readers look forward keenly to the next. Free Love is a beguiling novel, deceptively easy to read; beneath the surface swim disturbing and age-old questions about freedom and fate.” —Hilary Mantel