How It All Began

Lively, Penelope

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
How It All Began
The mugging of a retired schoolteacher on a London street has unexpected repercussions for her friends and neighbors when it inadvertently reveals an illicit love affair, leads to a business partnership, and helps an immigrant to reinvent his life.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 0670023442
Branch Call Number: FICTION LIVELY 2012
Characteristics: 229 p. ;,24 cm


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Jul 28, 2014
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An excellent read. Interesting way of illustrating how a seemingly random event can alter the courses of different people's lives, without any of them being aware of the thing that changed their life's course. The idea of if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, a tornado is spawned in Alberta.... or something like that! Anyway, great writer and I'll be requesting her others.

Jan 08, 2014
  • toby65 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Beautiful prose. Unforgettable characters. Exquisite.

Mar 18, 2013

The often-unseen connections between people are the focus of this "delectably tart and agile novel" (Booklist), which starts with the mugging of a retired schoolteacher on a London street. Charlotte, left without her handbag, is also left with a broken hip, which leads to unexpected repercussions for her friends and family (and even strangers) when their behaviour changes to accommodate her care. An illicit love affair is inadvertently revealed, a newly fluent immigrant is free to reinvent his life, and Charlotte herself is changed. Whatever you call it - interdependency, the chaos theory, the butterfly effect - author Penelope Lively insightfully illustrates how one small change can affect multitudes. For a similar theme, try Penny Vincenzi's The Best of Times.

Fiction A to Z newsletter March 2013.

Jan 17, 2013

Charlotte Rainsford, is a retired schoolteacher who is randomly mugged on a London street. This novel by award winning English author, Penelope Lively, explores the powerful role of chance in people’s lives. Lively explores how our paths can be altered forever by someone we will never meet. Charlotte’s misfortune brings together a real assortment of characters with their own life stories. Henry is an old guard historian trying to stay relevant with a TV miniseries, Anton is a middle-aged central European immigrant learning to speak English and reinvent his life, and antiques dealer Jeremy, can’t decide between his needy wife Stella or a fling with the independent Marion. And finally, Charlotte’s daughter Rose, while caring for her mother, reaches a tipping point in her marriage. This is a work of fiction that expertly examines the workings of human nature. I highly recommend you read How it All Began.

Mar 25, 2012
  • goldenreader rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Like the story in the book, it was an interesting accident that put this book in my hands. Now I know I have discovered a new author and plan to read other titles. Highly recommended, a good read

Mar 17, 2012

Much Brit speak infuses this very enjoyable language-centric tale of an ensemble of criss-crossed lives in contemporary England. I don’t think you have to be an Anglophile to like Lively, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Mar 06, 2012
  • bdemian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Intelligent and beautifully written; laced with humor and one of the most insightful looks into aging - both the pros and cons - ever. A joy.

Mar 05, 2012
  • dcafk rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My 5 star rating says it all. Great read by a truly gifted author.

Jan 21, 2012
  • GreenlakeDD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A perfect antidote for serious Seattle cabin fever. A very inclement January day was wiled away with these vivid and believable characters, all the while being provoked to muse about time and chance.


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app06 Version nodvandig Last updated 2015/03/05 16:13