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How It All Beganby Penelope Lively
Synopses & Reviews
“It’s all wonderful fun. Lipman sketches her characters’ foibles with amused affection and moves the plot forward with practiced ease.” – Washington Post
Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot’s luxurious Greenwich Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, it’s a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony.
As the three swap moneymaking schemes and timid Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot’s paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness. A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age from one of our finest comic writers.
“The View from Penthouse B mixes sisters, online dating, and Bernie Madoff's victims into a witty confection.” – Parade
“Lipman’s acuity as a social observer makes her voice seem to belong to a wise and funny friend.” – Boston Globe
“A sly comedy of modern manners.” – Miami Herald
A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age, from the author of The Family Man and The Inn at Lake Devine.
The beloved and bestselling author takes an intimate look back at a life of reading and writing
The memory that we live with . . . is the moth-eaten version of our own past that each of us carries around, depends on. It is our ID; this is how we know who we are and where we have been.”
Memory and history have been Penelope Livelys terrain in fiction over a career that has spanned five decades. But she has only rarely given readers a glimpse into her influences and formative years.
Dancing Fish and Ammonites traces the arc of Livelys life, stretching from her early childhood in Cairo to boarding school in England to the sweeping social changes of Britains twentieth century. She reflects on her early love of archeology, the fragments of the ancients that have accompanied her journey—including a sherd of Egyptian ceramic depicting dancing fish and ammonites found years ago on a Dorset beach. She also writes insightfully about aging and what life looks like from where she now stands.
"[In this] haunting new novel, the act of forgetting is as strange and interesting as the power of remembering."
-The New York Times Book Review
Penelope Lively is renowned for her signature combination of silken storytelling and nuanced human insights. In Family Album, lively masterfully peels back one family's perfect façade to reveal the unsettling truths.
All Alison ever wanted was to provide her six children with a blissful childhood. Its creation, however, became an obsession that involved Ingrid, the family au pair. As adults, Paul, Gina, Sandra, Katie, Roger, and Clare return to their family home and as mysteries begin to unravel, each must confront how the consequences of long-held secrets have shaped their lives.
About the Author
Penelope Lively grew up in Egypt but settled in England after the war and took a degree in history at St Anne's College, Oxford. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a member of PEN and the Society of Authors. She was married to the late Professor Jack Lively, has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren, and lives in Oxfordshire and London.
Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize; once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her novels include Passing On, shortlisted for the 1989 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award, City of the Mind, Cleopatra's Sister and Heat Wave.
Penelope Lively has also written radio and television scripts and has acted as presenter for a BBC Radio 4 program on children's literature. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award.
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