Information about the author.
Elderly, uncompromising Claudia Hampton lies in a London hospital bed with memories of life fluttering through her fading consciousness. An author of popular history, Claudia proclaims she’s carrying out her last project: a history of the world. This history turns out to be a mosaic of her life, her own story tangled with those of her brother, her lover and father of her daughter, and the center of her life, Tom, her one great love found and lost in war-torn Egypt. Always the independent woman, often with contentious relationships, Claudia’s personal history is complex and fascinating. As people visit Claudia, they shake and twist the mosaic, changing speed, movement, and voice, to reveal themselves and Claudia’s impact on their world.
A quiet lonely child spending her holidays by the sea is changed by an inexplicable link with people and events of one hundred years ago and also by the very real and lively family next door.
A funny story of the supernatural which won the 1973 Carnegie Medal. When the Harrisons move to an old cottage in Oxfordshire and are beset by small domestic disasters, they assume that James is up to his tricks again. How can he explain that he's plagued by the ghost of a 17th-century sorcerer?
All Alison ever wanted was a blissful childhood for her six children, with summers at the beach and birthday parties on the lawn at their family home. Together with Ingrid, the family au pair, she has worked hard to create a real “old-fashioned family life.” But beneath its postcard sheen, the picture is clouded by a distant father, Alison’s inexplicable emotional outbursts, and long-repressed secrets that no one dares mention. For years, Alison’s adult children have protected her illusion of domestic perfection-but as each child confronts the effects of past choices on their current adult lives, it becomes evident that each must face the truth.
Penelope Lively’s novels of history, memory, and character have earned her a loyal readership. Like Ian McEwan’s Atonement, this novel is a measured, thoughtful look at how events of the past, both small and large, seen and unseen, deeply inform character and the present. Quietly provocative and disturbing, Family Album is a highly nuanced work that showcases a master of her craft.
The story of a middle-aged man’s obsession with a younger woman. “A wise comic novel about memory and expectations.” —New Yorker.
In The Road to Lichfield, Penelope Lively explores the nature of history and memory as it is embodied in the life of a forty-year-old woman, Anne Linton, who unexpectedly learns that her father had a mistress. With this new knowledge, Linton must now examine the realities of her own life—of her childhood, her husband—and ask, What do they really know of her? Deeply felt, beautifully controlled, The Road to Lichfield is a subtle exploration of memory and identity, of chance and consequence, of the intricate weave of generations across a past never fully known, a future never fully anticipated.
“A flawless novel about the role of the past by one of Britain’s best.” —Booklist (starred review)