cover image The Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom

Tessa Hadley, . . Holt, $25 (339pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-8076-6

This dreamy and thoughtful third novel from Hadley (Everything Will Be Alright and Accidents in the Home ) chronicles the slow-burning midlife crisis of Kate Flynn. A cigarette-smoking, high-heel–wearing Russian lit. prof, Kate has given up frittering among the London intelligentsia to move back to Wales and care for her aging mother, Billie. Against the backdrop of wintry Cardiff, Kate contends with her rekindled desire for David Roberts, now a married public health doctor. She simultaneously attempts to ward off the infatuated advances of David's teenage son, Jamie. As all concerned cavort provokingly, Hadley sympathizes with her quirky, stubborn characters and impulsive protagonist without excusing them, and the simmering love triangle between David, his son and Kate keeps the placid storytelling from falling into a meditative lull. (July)