Fowl Meadow, Massachusetts

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

A New Discovery for Me--Penelope Lively

I'm reading Penelope Lively's How It All Began, published in 2011, and am so entranced by her writing style. This is my first time reading her. The novel delights me, in some (but not all) of the ways that Barbara Pym's book enchant me.

Lively's writing style is unique, but the subject of personal isolation is not, and she treats it in ways that do not depress but rather illuminate the intricacies of personal connection with the world and  with other people.

From what I've been able to gather, How It All Began is the most recent adult novel that Lively has published. Lively was born in 1933, I recall, and so she must be turning 85 this year. I can see why there has not been a novel since 2011.

Have you read Penelope Lively? What aspects of her fiction have been meaningful to you? Which books have you liked or disliked, and why? 

8 comments:

  1. I have not read Penelope Lively... yet. Moon Tiger is on my kindle and I purchased another of her novels at the library book sale last summer (The Photograph?) Glad to know you are enjoying her writing.

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    1. JoAnn, I'll look forward to the time when you have the time to read her. I'm hoping to read more Lively novels, yet I'm so overflowing with books I'm dying to read.

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  2. I've read quite a lot of Lively's books fairly recently, I really like her writing. She's also a keen gardener and has written books about plants and gardens.https://piningforthewest.co.uk/?s=penelope+lively&submit=Search

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  3. Katrina, yes, I have noticed you have read quite a bit of Penelope Lively's books. I must go back in your archives to see what you have said about them.
    I do really like How It All Began.

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  4. Oh, I love her. Both she and Pym are on my list of favourite authors - MustReadEverything authors - but I do feel like they are quite different too. Most recently I read City of the Mind, which I wasn't expecting to enjoy as much as the one before that (The Photograph) but I enjoyed it every bit as much - maybe even more! Good luck with your exploring: you have many good ones ahead of you (and some children's books too - if you're into that at all).

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    1. Yes, I have been totally swept off my feet with Penelope Lively. I so look forward to reading more. Thanks so much for weighing in, and I'll look for her children's books as well!

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  5. I absolutely loved Heat Wave and vowed to read more by Penelope Lively but haven't it. I just reread my post on the book and got excited to read her all over again. I found it taut, well-written, and literary.

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    1. Jane, I'll definitely look out for Heat Wave! Anything by Lively looks superb to me right now. She's a very exciting author to me at this point.

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