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The story of several generations of an English family, beginning in the 1930s, when Lorna leaves her wealthy family to marry an artist
When the Harrisons move to an old cottage in Oxfordshire they are beset by small domestic disasters --ink spilt, buckets tripped over, objects mysteriously moved, all kinds of bumps and creaks and draughts. Naturally, they assume that ten-year-old James is the troublemaker, and James decides it simply isn't worth the bother to tell them about Thomas Kempe --after all, they'd never believe him. For Thomas Kempe was a seventeenth-century sorcerer who has materialized as a poltergeist, and he is bent on making James his apprentice! At first it is merely irritating, but then some very unpleasant things start to happen. James decides that Thomas Kempe must be got rid of --but how?
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 Beganis 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.
Clare agrees to serve on a fund-raising committee to restore an ancient and beautiful church and convinces her colleagues to put on a pageant featuring an unpleasant episode in the church's history.
As she lays dying, a woman reflects on her life as a historian, fighting the world of men and their doubts of her, and her brief love affair with a British tank commander. Booker prize winner.
In Pack of Cards, Penelope Lively introduces the reader to slivers of the everyday world that are not always open to observation, as she delves into the minutiae of her characters' lives. Whether she writes about a widow on a visit to Russia, a small boy's consignment to boarding school, or an agoraphobic housewife, Penelope Lively takes the reader past the closed curtains, through the locked door, into a world that seems at first mundane and then, at second glance, proves to be uniquely memorable. Book jacket.
The dark, compelling treasures of time lure and ensnare two young people in a quiet, bitter drama played out in the orderly, civilized society of the English countryside.
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