How It All Began

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9780241957271: How It All Began

When Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is...just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events. In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed.

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About the Author:

Penelope Lively was born and raised in Egypt, before moving to England for boarding school and later reading Modern History at St Anne's College, Oxford. Lively is the author of many children's books and adult novels, including Family Album, The Photograph, and Moon Tiger, which won the Man Booker Prize. She was awarded an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in 2001 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In recognition of her contributions to British literature, she was elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.

Review:

“Here, one of our most talented writers has written an elegant, witty work of fiction, deceptively simple, emotionally and intellectually penetrating, the kind of novel that brings a plot to satisfying closure but whose questions linger long afterward in the reader’s mind.”
—The New York Times Book Review
 
“In this mischievous novel, Lively traces the genealogy of randomness that messes up the lives of strangers. . . . Moving skillfully between streams-of-consciousness and a wry omniscient voice, Lively investigates her characters’ motives and afterthoughts with precision and tenderness.”
—The New Yorker
 
How It All Began is another virtuoso performance. I found it even more delightful a second time through, appreciating once more the elegance of Lively’s design, the grace notes of thematic underpinning shining through. . . . In her own late 70s now, with a legion of regular readers and newcomers with every book, Lively continues to surprise and illuminate, writing to ever more dazzling effect.”
—The Boston Globe
 
“The ever-productive, ever-graceful Penelope Lively returns to several pet themes—memory, history and the powerful role of happenstance in reshaping lives—with a fresh and charming novel. . . . She has provided a golden passport that will sweep you through the border control of other people’s lives.”
—The Washington Post
 
“Lively’s novel is skillfully constructed, with a thoroughly engaging plot. It also has much to say about the role of chance in human affairs, the aging process and the importance of memories.”
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 “Lively is a consummate storyteller who once again illuminates the ways that the vagaries of chance bring powerful alteration to the ordinary plans of ordinary people. . . . The characters in this novel are, each and all, well drawn and fully conceived. . . . Everyone in this elegantly told tale is connected by chance and the power of story.”
—The Seattle Times

“Startling and soothing, uncommonly paced, this is a book to treasure. . . . To a person, each character is wholly developed, and the trajectory of all the chaotically intersecting lives moves forward. Ms. Lively attends to these with great care, and with every detail and keenly observed moment, the reader accrues more information about where it all leads. There are consequences to missteps and random acts. . . . Three cheers for this gorgeous writing.”
—The Washington Times
 
“In this densely patterned novel . . . Lively observes how the ‘strange notional movements’ of world economies can ‘wreck individual lives.’ This novel shows that if minor events wreak major effects, so can grand systems shape our own small ends—and our beginnings, too.”
 
—San Francisco Chronicle

“Wonderful . . . British treasure Penelope Lively examines the effects of a seemingly random crime on a group of London acquaintances and strangers.”
—Marie Claire

 “Lives intersect in unexpected and comical ways in this breezy, engrossing novel. . . . Lively infuses her motley cast of characters with a blend of pathos and sharp satire, and though How It All Began is light fare, this deftly paced novel remains compulsively readable throughout.”
—Entertainment Weekly
 
“This delightful, absorbing novel relies on a sophisticated and skillfully realized structure to introduce and then follow its endearingly ordinary characters. . . . The interdependency of the characters’ lives, which they remain largely unaware of, builds intriguing momentum, and the pace quickens as the novel develops. Throughout, prolific Booker Prize–winning author Lively illustrates her knack for charming familiarity and just the right dash of surprise.”
—Publishers Weekly
 
“The ruling vision of master British novelist Lively’s latest delectably tart and agile novel is the Butterfly Effect, which stipulates that ‘a very small perturbation’ can radically alter the course of events. . . . Throughout this brilliantly choreographed and surreptitiously poignant chain-reaction comedy of chance and change, Lively shrewdly elucidates the nature of history, the tunnel-visioning of pain and age, and the abiding illumination of reading, which so profoundly nourishes the mind and spirit.”
—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Explores the far-reaching effect of happenstance, as individual circumstances shift, lives change, and the known is perceived in an altogether new light. . . . Lively delivers her story about these intertwined lives with faultless dexterity, sly humor, keen insight, and deft economy . . . A feel-good masterpiece that will delight faithful fans as well as those new to the work of this consummate storyteller.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

 “More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing of two about storytelling. Her veteran understanding of the function of narrative in our lives is impressive but lightly worn. . . . Her candour is refreshing, and reminds us that you don’t have to lie to yourself to live life finely until the very end.”
The Times (London)
 
“Lively remains a sublime storyteller. . . . She has us riveted with curiosity as to what will happen next, yet also keeps us consistently aware of the nature of the illusion.”
—The Guardian

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Penelope Lively
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 0241957273 ISBN 13: 9780241957271
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How It All Began is the wonderful new novel from Booker Prize winner Penelope LivelyWhen . . . Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is . . . just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events.In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed.Funny, humane, touching, sly and sympathetic, How It All Began is a brilliant sleight of hand from an author at the top of her game. Contains some of Lively s funniest and most enjoyable character studies . . . she remains a sublime storyteller Guardian Deeply comical, essentially kind-hearted, wonderfully written and seasoned with a rare wisdom Literary Review More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing or two about storytelling . . . her candour is refreshing, and reminds us that you don t have to lie to yourself to live life finely until the very end The TimesPenelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra s Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year s Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780241957271

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Penelope Lively
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 0241957273 ISBN 13: 9780241957271
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How It All Began is the wonderful new novel from Booker Prize winner Penelope LivelyWhen . . . Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is . . . just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events.In this engaging, utterly absorbing and brilliantly told novel, Penelope Lively shows us how one random event can cause marriages to fracture and heal themselves, opportunities to appear and disappear, lovers who might never have met to find each other and entire lives to become irrevocably changed.Funny, humane, touching, sly and sympathetic, How It All Began is a brilliant sleight of hand from an author at the top of her game. Contains some of Lively s funniest and most enjoyable character studies . . . she remains a sublime storyteller Guardian Deeply comical, essentially kind-hearted, wonderfully written and seasoned with a rare wisdom Literary Review More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing or two about storytelling . . . her candour is refreshing, and reminds us that you don t have to lie to yourself to live life finely until the very end The TimesPenelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra s Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year s Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780241957271

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2012. Paperback. When. Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is .just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 16. Weight in Grams: 184. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780241957271

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2012. Book Condition: New. 2012. Paperback. When. Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer Lord Peters to Manchester, which means his niece Marion has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover which is intercepted by his wife, which is .just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 16. Weight in Grams: 184. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780241957271

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