In A House Unlocked, Whitbread Award- and Booker Prize-winning Penelope Lively takes us on a journey of her familial country house in England that her grandparents bought in 1923. As her narrative shifts from room to room, object to object, she paints a moving portrait of an era of rapid change -- and of the family that changed with the times. As she charts the course of the domestic tensions of class and community among her relatives, she brings to life the effects of the horrors of the Russian Revolution and the Holocaust through portraits of the refugees who came to live with them. A fascinating, intimate social history of its times, A House Unlocked is an eloquent meditation on place and time, memory and history, and above all a tribute to the meaning of home.
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Penelope Lively is the author of over twenty books of fiction and non--fiction, including the Booker Prize-winning novel Moon Tiger and the Whitbread Award-winning novel A Stitch in Time, as well as numerous children's books.Lively's awards include the Booker Prize, the Whitbread Award, the British Arts Council National Book Award, and the Carnegie MedalFrom AudioFile:
In the late 1990s, critically acclaimed English author Penelope Lively had to sell her country home, which had been in the family since 1925. It is to our benefit that its loss triggered her decision to "see if the private life of a house could be made to bear witness to the public traumas of a century." In a rich, clear voice, Sheila Mitchell gives a nuanced reading of the fascinating story that resulted. It's a history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century England revealed through familial artifacts. The house's extensive tulip garden leads Lively to the botanical adventurers who found the unusual specimens. An unused wing of the house reminds her of the London children housed there throughout WWII, and causes her to explore the way in which that temporary but huge migration changed English society forever. I could keep giving examples--far better that you listen yourself. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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