How It All Began
A vibrant new novel from Penelope Lively-a wry, wise story about the surprising ways lives intersect. When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage... show more
A vibrant new novel from Penelope Lively-a wry, wise story about the surprising ways lives intersect. When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage unravels after an illicit love affair is revealed through an errant cell phone message; a posh yet financially strapped interior designer meets a business partner who might prove too good to be true; an old-guard historian tries to recapture his youthful vigor with an ill-conceived idea for a TV miniseries; and a middle-aged central European immigrant learns to speak English and reinvents his life with the assistance of some new friends.Through a richly conceived and colorful cast of characters, Penelope Lively explores the powerful role of chance in people's lives and deftly illustrates how our paths can be altered irrevocably by someone we will never even meet. Brought to life in her hallmark graceful prose and full of keen insights into human nature, How It All Began is an engaging, contemporary tale that is sure to strike a chord with her legion of loyal fans as well as new readers. A writer of rare wisdom, elegance, and humor, Lively is a consummate storyteller whose gifts are on full display in this masterful work.
Publish date: January 5th 2012
Publisher: Viking Adult
Pages no: 240
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Literary Fiction
The current of this book takes on that of the butterfly effect, being that one seemingly small event can alter the course of proceeding events, in unforeseen and often sizable ways. It's an easy read, but might elicit food for thought on your own deeds and actions, whether they be those of commissio...
I went ahead and marked this five stars for "amazing," because it's rare that a contemporary novel is quotable. The main character is an educated British woman in her seventies, recovering from a mugging. First sentence: "The pavement rises up and hits her." Terrific, right? Here's a bit from when s...
I always enjoy Penelope Lively's books. Here, an older woman is mugged and injured enough to have to spend weeks recuperating in the home of her married daughter. This has a cascade of effects on other people's lives, from her daughter's employer (an aging and increasingly forgetful historian) to th...
An elderly woman gets mugged.That’s how it all began.Like the butterfly (what is the illusion? the butterfly breathing in the rainforest? the butterfly knocking its pupa onto a jaguar when it emerges?) in the well-known paradigm, this single act sets all kinds of crazy, unrelated events in motion. F...