Wednesday 22 August 2007

Consequences by Penelope Lively

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Key Porter Books

Consequences follows the lives of three generations of women in the same family. First there is Lorna, a young lady who finds herself on a park bench one day, distraught from yet another argument with her mother. A chance encounter with a local artist named Matt brings her hope, a hope that is shattered when war begins and Matt is killed in action. She is left to try and pick up the remnants of her life and raise their young daughter alone.

Then we move forward twenty years and follow the life of the daughter Molly. The reader observes Molly as she struggles to find herself. Her first job leads her unexpectedly into the arms of an older man, a man who adores her and wants to marry her, especially now that she is carrying their child but Molly is not in love with him.

It is their child, Ruth, who seems to have the most stable life as an adult. Settled down with her husband Peter and their two precious children, she seems to have it all but Ruth finds herself with a lot of questions. Questions she can only answer by rediscovering the past. Will there ever be a woman in this family who can find true - and lasting - happiness?

A friend told me I had to read this book and I am so thankful I did. It's a book that grabbed my attention from the first couple of sentences and kept me reading - often with my breath held - for the duration. I found the characters to be well written and the story as a whole was wonderfully executed. The shifts back and forth in time add something special to this novel and I especially like that we get to see how women of the same age and similar circumstances face very different challenges in each era.

I loved the reminders of England. The references to the Zannusi fridge, fish and chips, the narrow lanes that only one vehicle can pass through, and lots of British terminology. For that reason alone I was very fond of this book.

It's a wonderfully addictive tale.

Author's website:

1 comment:

Katie said...

this sounds good. I usually don't go in for the whole family thing... but this one sounds like the author did a good job keeping everything together.