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Fiction Family Life

Family Album

A Novel

by (author) Penelope Lively

Key Porter Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2009
Family Life, Literary
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2009
    List Price

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A?New York Times Best book of 2009!

Family Album is the story of a sprawling family with a dark secret at its heart. Having left Allersmead, the family estate, as a teenager, daAughter Gina returns for a visit with her new boyfriend. His curiosity about her mysterious past leads to reflection and revelations, and soon the entire family'six grown children, all with their own reasons for having left home?must confront the unspoken secret from their past.
?Her greatest gift is her ability to see beyond mere cultural ephemera and grasp the unchanging essence of life.?
?The Wall Street Journal on Consequences
?Her characters are beguiling, and her blend of romance and stinging social commentary is tonic.?
?Booklist (starred review) on Consequences
?[U]nflaggingly compelling?. exceptionally well observed and gloriously enjoyable. Family Album manages to intrigue and delight, and to keep the reader captivated, racing along without obvious direction but with a very tight sense of purpose?. [O]ne of [Lively's] most impressive works.?
?The Guardian
?[H]ugely enjoyable? a pleasure to read.?
?The Independent
?Lively skilfully mingles past and present, as she peels away the layers to uncover a family secret of which no one speaks. What seems at first a minor domestic drama evolves into a much darker picture, and time takes its inevitable toll as the parents grow old and infirm. Lively's astute skewering of family relations reverberates in the mind long afterwards.?
?The Daily Mail
?Lively succeeds brilliantly in getting a hold on the climate of family life. Slowly we absorb the details that get lost in the bluster and flurry until we are so drawn in, so tightly contained in the dynamics of this one, that the end, when it comes, is simply devastating.?
?The Times

With its bountiful characters and exhaustive time traveling, Lively's vivisection of a nuclear family displays polished writing and fine character delineation."?
-- Publishers Weekly

About the author

PENELOPE LIVELY is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction, including Moon Tiger, which won the Booker Prize in 1987; The Road to Lichfield and According to Mark, which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize; A Stitch in Time, which won the Whitbread Award; and most recently Consequences, which was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her work has been widely translated. She is a companion of the British Empire, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, PEN, and the Society of Authors. Born in Cairo, Egypt, Lively moved to England at the age of twelve, and now lives in London.

Penelope Lively's profile page

Other titles by Penelope Lively