Past, The

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Today Finding the lost and living without love as Sian Thomas reads the final, tender part of Tessa Hadley's new novel, a beautifully observed portrait of a family and the change wrought by time across the generations.

Three middle-aged sisters and a brother meet up in their grandparents' old house for three long, hot summer weeks. Under the idyllic surface, there are immediate tensions. Secrets, misunderstandings and passion play out as the characters shift and reappraise and a way of life - bourgeois, literate, ritualised - winds down to its inevitable end.

While the siblings circle each other, and the adolescents approach each other, the children watch and come to their own conclusions.

Tessa Hadley is one of Britain's finest writers, an acute observer of character, time and place and the most published short story writer in the New Yorker in recent years.

The reader is Sian Thomas

The abridger is Sally Marmion

The producer is Di Speirs.