Accidents in the Home
An improbable coincidence brings Clare back into contact with someone she once had sex with as a teenager; to complicate matters, he is now going out with her best friend, Helly. The encounter could have just been embarrassing, but it shakes up everything in Clare’s life. Clare and Helly learned to smoke and shoplift together, and even read an old copy of The Female Eunuch together, squeezed side by side on Helly’s bed. Now Clare is married with three small children, bakes her own bread and buys her clothes from the charity shop. Helly is a model and has her image up on billboards ten feet high. And each of them seems to want what the other has.
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The weekend that Helly brought her new boyfriend down to meet Clare, Clare's younger brother Toby was also staying with them, following them round with his video camera, making a documentary about the family for his college course.
Clare gave the camera one quick exasperated glance when...
1. Clare is a young mother with a devoted husband and a comfortable home in the suburbs. Helly is single and leads a glamorous, metropolitan lifestyle. Both want what the other has. Do you think their desire for more will ever be satisfied?
2. Family in Tessa Hadley's novel is no longer a steady foundation but a...
—New York Times Book Review