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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Tenderness by Alison MacLeod.

The spellbinding story of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the society that put it on trial; the story of a novel and its ripple effects across half a century and about the transformative and triumphant power of fiction itself.

D. H. Lawrence is dying. Exiled in the Mediterranean, he dreams of the past. There are the years early in his marriage during the war where his desperation drives him to commit a terrible betrayal. And there is a woman in an Italian courtyard, her chestnut hair red with summer.

Jacqueline and her husband have already been marked out for greatness. Passing through New York, she slips into a hearing where a book, not a man, is brought to trial.

A young woman and a young man meet amid the restricted section of a famous library and make love.

Scattered and blown by the winds of history, their stories are bound together and brought before the jury. On both sides of the Atlantic, society is asking and continues to ask: is it obscenity - or is it tenderness?

©2021 Alison MacLeod (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

Critic Reviews

"As sublimely crafted as a novel could ever be. I’m in awe of Alison MacLeod’s powers. Tenderness is an intricate, mesmerising tapestry of love and regret, prudery and desire, loneliness and togetherness, loyalty and betrayal, and the enigmas and conundrums involved in the art of committing these experiences to the page." (Isabella Tree)

 "A passionate, epic joy." (Madeline Miller)

"Tenderness is a triumph and it will conquer your heart. Stunning, illuminating, but also, profoundly moving." (Elif Shafak) 

What listeners say about Tenderness

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Well written, unusual but waaaay too long

I certainly learned some interesting facts reading this but some passages were totally boring and unnecessary making it waaay longer than it needed to be. For example, we learn all about a new character, Rosalind, about 2-3 hours before the end and I really didn’t care about where she went to school or what she thought about her home. Had to fast forward that part. Towards the end I couldn’t wait for it to finish.

Such a shame because the writing was excellent and the subject matter unusual and interesting.

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  • Derk
  • 02-13-22

Clever, unique, beautifully read

Who would have thought that intermingling the story of the trial of the Lady Chatterley’s Lover Penguin book with the history of its composition and the election of J. F Kennedy in America and the attempts of J Edgar Hoover to thwart his election could be so enthralling? But it is. Alison MacLeod has pulled off something unique. This is a very long listen but I found it utterly compelling and wonderfully read. If you wonder what the connections can possible be, listen on…