Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Sagas

The Photograph

by (author) Penelope Lively

Key Porter Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2005
Sagas, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2005
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


It opens with a snapshot: Kath, at an unknown gathering, hands clasped with a man not her husband, their backs to the camera. Found after her death, the photograph is in an envelope marked DON'T OPEN-DESTROY. But Kath's husband does not heed the warning. The mystery of the photograph, and of Kath herself, propels him on a journey of discovery in which he must peel back the layers of their life together. The unfolding tale reveals a tight web of secrets-within marriages, between two sisters, and at the heart of an affair. Kath, with her mesmerizing looks and casual ways, moves like an insistent ghost through the thoughts and memories of everyone who knew her: Glyn, her husband, a historian past his prime; her sister, Elaine, a garden designer married to feckless Nick; and their daughter, Polly, who oscillates between home and family and the tumultuous new era she inhabits.

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