Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | November 29, 2014

    Neil Patrick Harris: IMG Neil Patrick Harris: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

A House Unlocked

A House Unlocked Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whitbread Award- and Booker Prize-winning Penelope Lively is one of England's greatest living writers, whom The New York Times Book Review has called "blessed ... able to render matters of great import with a breath, a barely audible sigh, a touch." In A House Unlocked, Lively bridges personal and social history in telling the story of Golsoncott, the country house in Somerset, England, that her grandparents bought in 1923. As her narrative moves from room to room, from object to object, she paints a moving portrait of an era of rapid change — and of the family that changed with the times. As she charts the course of the domestic tensions of class and community among her relatives, she brings to life the effects of the horrors of the Russian Revolution and the Holocaust, through portraits of the refugees who came to live with them. A fascinating, intimate social history, A House Unlocked is an eloquent meditation on place and time, memory and history, and above all a tribute to the meaning of home.

Review:

"Many of Penelope Lively's fine novels, stories, and children's books, notably Moon Tiger (1987) and A Stitch in Time (1976), have dealt in one way or another with the subtle but tenacious links between historical forces and personal memory. Now, with A House Unlocked, she presents herself and her family as direct participants, albeit frequently passive and unconscious ones, in the feverish drama of the twentieth century....A House Unlocked is a very personal book, and the personality that shines through is an attractive one: diffident, thoughtful, gentle." Brooke Allen, Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)

Review:

"A curious book full of curios: her grandmother?s embroidered fire screen, a bon bon box, knife rests, a Bluther grand piano. Each is an inspiration...This book helps define one of our leading novelists." Brian Martin, The Financial Times

Review:

"Lively's writing is a palimpsest of past and present on which flit scenes of England's changing mores and rituals. Add to this a narrative graced with fictional elements and felicitous prose and the result is, to borrow Lively's own phrase, 'a rattling good read', as absorbing as any of her novels." Library Journal

Review:

"Lively's crisp and savvy fiction is intimately tied to place, an orientation she uses with exceptional vision in this fine weave of family and world history....Lively not only uses "the private life of a house . . . to bear witness to the public traumas" of the twentieth century but she also offers incisive, witty, and unfailingly sensitive observations about change and stasis in women's lives." Donna Seaman, Booklist

Review:

"Lively unlocks more than the house and its century; the author herself is here, a product of both her corseted grandmother and the more modern eras that followed. This is a quietly intelligent, oddly soothing meditation on modernity." Publishers Weekly

Book News Annotation:

Lively, a British novelist, has written a memoir centered on her grandparents' country home in Somerset, England. The beautifully written personal account expands beyond the house to include the historical circumstances of Europe in the first half of the 20th century, revealing the social change occurring in the English countryside, including the presence and lives of refugees.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802117120
Author:
Lively, Penelope
Publisher:
Grove Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Novelists, English
Subject:
Somerset
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Golsoncott
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 225).
Series Volume:
107-87
Publication Date:
April 2002
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
225
Dimensions:
8.59x5.80x.91 in. .83 lbs.

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary

A House Unlocked
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 225 pages Grove Press - English 9780802117120 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Many of Penelope Lively's fine novels, stories, and children's books, notably Moon Tiger (1987) and A Stitch in Time (1976), have dealt in one way or another with the subtle but tenacious links between historical forces and personal memory. Now, with A House Unlocked, she presents herself and her family as direct participants, albeit frequently passive and unconscious ones, in the feverish drama of the twentieth century....A House Unlocked is a very personal book, and the personality that shines through is an attractive one: diffident, thoughtful, gentle." (read the entire Atlantic review)
"Review" by , "A curious book full of curios: her grandmother?s embroidered fire screen, a bon bon box, knife rests, a Bluther grand piano. Each is an inspiration...This book helps define one of our leading novelists."
"Review" by , "Lively's writing is a palimpsest of past and present on which flit scenes of England's changing mores and rituals. Add to this a narrative graced with fictional elements and felicitous prose and the result is, to borrow Lively's own phrase, 'a rattling good read', as absorbing as any of her novels."
"Review" by , "Lively's crisp and savvy fiction is intimately tied to place, an orientation she uses with exceptional vision in this fine weave of family and world history....Lively not only uses "the private life of a house . . . to bear witness to the public traumas" of the twentieth century but she also offers incisive, witty, and unfailingly sensitive observations about change and stasis in women's lives."
"Review" by , "Lively unlocks more than the house and its century; the author herself is here, a product of both her corseted grandmother and the more modern eras that followed. This is a quietly intelligent, oddly soothing meditation on modernity."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.