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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review: How It All Began by Penelope Lively

The entire premise of this novel is that one small event can lead to large changes in many peoples' lives, some of them who don't even know about the original incident (and yes, they do mention the butterfly in the rainforest theory.)

Charlotte is mugged and her hip is badly injured. That means her daughter has to take a day off from her work as the assistant to an elderly academic, and so his niece has to accompany him on a trip. Which means she sends a text to her lover which his wife sees, leading them to separate, and so on. By the end of the book, loves will be won and lost, relationships will be created and sundered, careers will be affected, and it all happened because of the mugging.

The book is a short, sweet read, with engaging characters and a lot of events. That said, it was a little lightweight and fluffy. It was nice read which I thoroughly enjoyed, but it didn't really stick with me. But that's not a terrible thing. In fact, I bet I will recommend this book to people. It's sharply written without a spare word, masterfully plotted, but the reader never really gets inside the skin of any of the characters (perhaps because there are so many of them) so you're always at a remove. But it's a thoroughly pleasant and diverting novel.

I bought this book at my local independent bookstore.

1 comment:

Booksnyc said...

I recently bought this book - I love the picture on the cover. I had visions of reading it while in London since it is set there but my trip was jam packed with work commitments and that didn't happen.