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Family Album by Penelope Lively
  

Good Housekeeping's view...

September 2009 Good Housekeeping selection.

Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2009.

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "An acutely-studied and skilful dissection of middle-class family life."

Such a cosy thing: comfortable middle-class family life. But in the large, well-worn domain of Allersmead – home to six, now grown and largely dispersed children, their ample and accomplished cook of a mother, distracted father and lifelong au pair – only the dog stays true under scrutiny to the image of shambling contentment. Beyond the chequerboard hallway, sibling sniping, marital disharmony and unspoken pacts to conceal unforgiveable acts play out uncomfortably. A deeply satisfying, eloquent family-fabric novel.

If you like Penelope Lively you might also like to read books by A S Byatt, Margaret Forster and Margaret Drabble.

What is Good Housekeeping

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Now grown up and flown the nest, six children return to the family home, and to their parents – their mother the very essence of the home-maker, and their distant academic father – and, rather surprisingly, Ingrid, the au pair who was there through all their childhoods. As the pieces of this exquisite jigsaw fall into place, we find that the large, homely and generally welcoming house harbours some dark secrets. Lively depicts typically English characters hardly daring to think the truth.
~

Synopsis

Family Album by Penelope Lively

A big shabby Victorian suburban house, the smell of raincoats and coq au vin in the hall, the six mugs for the children slung from the kitchen dresser hooks: for destructive Paul, difficult Gina, elegant Sandra, considerate Katie, clever Roger and flighty Clare, Allersmead was the perfect place to grow up. But was it? Now grown-up and off in different directions, one by one the children return to Allersmead, to their home-making mother and aloof writer father and a house that for years has played silent witness to the secrets of a family, and one particular secret of which no one speaks. In her sixteenth novel, Penelope Lively shows her extraordinary understanding of what makes us human as she delves into the mystery of family life.

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, Heat Wave and her latest, Consequences. Many of her books, including Going Back, which first appeared as a children's book, and Oleander, Jacaranda, an autobiographical memoir of her childhood days in Egypt, are published in Penguin.

Penelope Lively has also written radio and television scripts and has acted as presenter for a BBC Radio 4 programme 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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Book Info

Publication date

6th August 2009

Author

Penelope Lively

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Author's Website

www.penelopelively.net/

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Publisher

Fig Tree an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Hardback

Categories

Family Drama
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ISBN

9781905490455

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