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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 first new novel in five years from "one of the most versatile and accomplished writers of her generation" (Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker)
From National Book Award finalist Howard Norman, a novel of extraordinary emotional power--the story of a writer whose short and erotically charged marriage has ended in his wife's unsolved murder, and who, in the confusing aftermath, sells the story to an ambitious filmmaker
Jessica Speight, a young anthropology student in 1960s London, is at the beginning of a promising academic career when an affair with her married professor turns her into a single mother. Anna is a pure gold baby with a delightful sunny nature. But as it becomes clear that Anna will not be a normal child, the book circles questions of responsibility, potential, even age, with Margaret Drabbles characteristic intelligence, sympathy, and wit.
Drabble once wrote, “Family life itself, that safest, most traditional, most approved of female choices, is not a sanctuary; it is, perpetually, a dangerous place.” Told from the point of view of the group of mothers who surround Jess, The Pure Gold Baby is a brilliant, prismatic novel that takes us into that place with satiric verve, trenchant commentary, and a movingly intimate story of the unexpected transformations at the heart of motherhood.
“Norman elegantly crafts a murder story that isn’t a mystery; a ghost story without shivers. At its heart, this is a bittersweet love story, about the hole left in a life.” — Seattle Times
Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, in an art gallery. Their brief, erotically charged marriage is extinguished with Elizabeth’s murder. Sam’s life afterward is complicated. In a moment of desperate confusion, he sells his life story to a Norwegian filmmaker named Istvakson, known for the stylized violence of his films, whose artistic drive sets in motion an increasingly intense cat-and-mouse game between the two men. Furthermore, Sam has begun “seeing” Elizabeth—not only seeing but holding conversations with her, almost every evening, and what at first seems simply hallucination born of terrible grief reveals itself, evening by evening, as something else entirely.
“Beautifully and carefully written and unique, its meaning both elegant and elusive.” — Ann Beattie
“Compelling and satisfying. Howard Norman has written a complex literary novel and a page-turner that’s impossible to put down.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Quirky and probing . . . riveting . . . sexy.” — Washington Post
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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