A rich, immersive novel about war, memory and loss, spanning three generations of one family
BAD RELATIONS tells the story of a family fractured by history, geography and desire. On the battlefields of the Crimea, William Gale cradles the still-warm body of his brother. William's experience of war is to bring about a change in him that will reverberate through his family over the next two centuries. In the 1970s, William's English descendants invite Stephen, a distant Australian cousin, to stay in their bohemian house in Cornwall - but their golden summer entanglements will end in a dramatic fall from grace. Half a century later, a confrontation between the surviving members of the family culminates in a terrible reckoning.
Cressida Connolly's magnificent new novel is a tale of a tragedy that seeps through generations, and a family forced to confront what they truly value in life.
Praise for Bad Relations
What if you could write a novel whose main plot points are a death in combat, a suicide and the breakdown of family relations, and make it beautiful? What if you dared not to show the grimmest bits, but let them happen off-stage, while using elegant, beautiful prose to paint the spaces around them? Cressida Connolly is that brave writer and Bad Relations is her latest masterpiece . . . ravishingThe Times
Connolly's vivid characterisation, supple prose and striking imagery sweep you along, in an absorbing and affecting saga that uses one family's story to anatomise the different stages of griefDaily Telegraph
Connolly, like Anne Tyler and Tessa Hadley, is a master of fluidly shifting perspectives, a sharply witty observer of social class, and a champion of imaginative empathyDaily Mail
Bad Relations is an amazing achievement and one of the most satisfying books you're likely to read this yearThe Times
In recent British fiction I can think only of Tessa Hadley who rivals Connolly in exacting such intricate, compelling drama from close-knit families . . . I don't often wish a book were longer, but this one I didObserver
A gripping story of love, loss and tragic betrayalCountry and Townhouse
Another fascinating, moving story from the author of After the PartyGood Housekeeping
The plot is neat, tight and unexpected but the novel's deep satisfaction comes from Connolly's total immersion in historical atmosphere and profound understanding of human painLiterary Review
Moving [and] powerful . . . Connolly's vividly drawn characters grapple with trauma, unkindness and greed in an intriguing novel where past actions reverberate in the presentDaily Mirror
This clever novel set across three timelines tells the story of a family haunted by tragedy. A skilfully written, powerful dramaBEST
A compelling family sagaSunday Times
A gripping story of love, loss and tragic betrayalCountry & Townhouse
A wonderfully subtle and interesting account of the Mosley women, with a compelling voiceLinda Grant on 'After the Party'
A writer who seems able to peer directly into the human heartJohn Preston
Connolly is a terrifically subtle writer... [she] slyly sweeps her readers into the period drama as tensions tauten between families and social classesDaily Telegraph on 'After the Party'
Fascinating, movingGood Housekeeping
I finished it in two days flat and I've never read anything quite like itHilary Spurling on 'After the Party'
Profound and moving and completely original, with a storyline that is completely satisfying. It'll be one of those novels that stays in my mind forever... it's a work of artCraig Brown on 'After the Party'
The characters in Bad Relations are so brilliantly real, so wonderfully compelling at their best, and at their worst, that I can't get them out of my head. A wonderful novelNina Stibbe
Uncanny, evocative, atmosphericSunday Times on 'After the Party'