An improbable coincidence brings Clare back into contact with someone she once had sex with at a teenage party; complicatedly, he is now going out with her best friend, Helly. The encounter needn't have meant anything - it could just have been funny, or embarrassing - but it seems to have the power to shake up everything in Clare's life. Clare is married with three small children, she bakes her own bread and buys her clothes from the charity shop. Helly is an actress and has her golden curves pasted up on billboards ten foot high. And each of them seems to want what the other has. Clare's story is intertwined with other stories of her extended family. Her father has been married three times and left a trail of children. Accidents in the Home dips in and out of the lives of this complicated, close, fraught family, reaching out into the past for explanation and illumination as well as across the present. It is the debut of a quite formidable fictional talent.
Tessa Hadley is the author of five highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train and Married Love and one previous 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.
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