Free Love

Free Love by Tessa Hadley takes a look at the era-defining upheaval of 1967 by focusing on the effects of social changes on one 40-year-old wife and mother. Phyllis is married to Roger, a civil servant, and lives in the suburbs outside London with her two children. She has the sort of safe, upper-middle-class existence that most novels about suburbia love to upend, and Free Love is no different. Phyllis’s life undergoes a radical shift when the twenty-something son of a family friend kisses her in her own backyard, awakening her, like Anna Karenina and Lady Chatterley before her, to the promise of everything she feels her life is missing. Tessa Hadley is a masterful writer and her prose is both delicate and sharp, bringing her characters’ complex emotions to life.