Tessa Hadley’s novel, Everything Will Be All Right , is a lovely and compelling book. The narrative spans several decades in the lives of one family—and more specifically, in the lives of the women of the family. Three of the women in particular—Aunt Vera, the groundbreaking teacher; Joyce, the would-be artist; and Zoe, the brilliant scholar—lead us on the journey from post-WWII England to present. What we learn is that as the world around them changes at ever increasing speed, this family stays the same, particularly in their eventual acceptance of each other and in their gravitation to the the center–the women.
Hadley’s writing is clear and often beautiful without being over the top, but the mastery of this novel is her ability to create and maintain characters. They simply live and breathe and stay in the room with the reader long after the book is finished. I was taken with this book from first word to last and would recommend it without reservation.