How It All Began
How It All Began is the wonderful new novel from Booker Prize winner Penelope Lively
When . . . Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is . . . just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events.
In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed.
Funny, humane, touching, sly and sympathetic, How It All Began is a brilliant sleight of hand from an author at the top of her game.
‘Contains some of Lively’s funniest and most enjoyable character studies . . . she remains a sublime storyteller’Guardian
‘Deeply comical, essentially kind-hearted, wonderfully written and seasoned with a rare wisdom’ Literary Review
‘More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing or two about storytelling . . . her candour is refreshing, and reminds us that you don’t have to lie to yourself to live life finely until the very end’ The Times
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 other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra’s Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.
A deftly constructed, always enjoyable novel * Sunday Times * As always, Lively has a precise control of the comic, and an ear for dialogue honed over more than 40 years of writing * Independent on Sunday * Lively's prose is indeed lively, her humour wry and her insights into the human condition both wise and moving * Sunday Express * An engaging read * Woman's Own * Witty and astute * Daily Mail * Deeply comical, essentially kind-hearted, wonderfully written and seasoned with a rare wisdom * Literary Review * Elegant and engrossing, this is a gently funny and touching portrait of the complex path life can take * Easy Living * Contains some of Lively's funniest and most enjoyable character studies . . . she remains a sublime storyteller * Guardian * More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing or two about storytelling . . . her candour is refreshing, and reminds us that you don't have to lie to yourself to live life finely until the very end * The Times *
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