Family Album

Family Album

Book - 2009
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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, daughter 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. PRAISE FOR PENELOPE LIVELY "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 PRAISE FOR FAMILY ALBUM "[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
Publisher: Toronto : L&OD/Key Porter, c2009
ISBN: 9780886194499
Branch Call Number: FIC LIV
Characteristics: 261 p. ; 23 cm


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Jun 01, 2017

An interesting novel but I preferred Moon Tiger, which I think is her best novel by far!

Sep 21, 2014

Mother Alison and au pair Ingrid, who's stayed for 40 years, worked to create a "blissful" childhood for her 6 children. Why, then, are most of them so reluctant to visit, and scattered from Canada to the States to Paris to who knows where? Why don't they keep in touch with each other, and why haven't they given her grandchildren? They can hold it together for short visits, but they don't want to admit to themselves that there are family secrets at the slightly shabby Edwardian mansion in which she raised them, and where their father is a vague figure in the background. Each child gets his or her say over the summer, and the secrets can't be held in. Interesting premise, but it's not my favorite of Penelope Lively's novels; I'm not even sure why. Maybe too many characters to keep track of?

Jul 31, 2014

Excellent book. Finely-drawn, believable characters. A life-time of events and memories told from various viewpoints.

mrsgail5756 Aug 30, 2012

A very good read. I enjoyed this book I would recommend this book for all to read.

Apr 16, 2012

Well , I'm getting to know PL's writing style - she's far more than an accomplished writer . This was not my favorite family , however .

Dec 07, 2010

An lean and elegant read capturing the complexities of family memories

Oct 22, 2010

Gina, second eldest daughter in family of six siblings, narrates the story of life at Allersmead with parents Alison and Charles along with au pair Ingrid. The story is one of memory as each family member in turn relates their take on family events and their own coping being part of Alison's large brood.

If you've ever had a sibling say, ?That's not what happened. It was like this,' then Family Album is for you. While I agree with reviewers who say this is not among Lively's best, it's still very good for its tale-telling of a time recently past for many of us just reaching retirement age. And, with Lively's brilliant satire you'll certainly be entertained for a little while.

Mar 07, 2010

This book relates the memories of six children, their parents, and their au pair during the years the children were growing up. The differences as well as the similarities are remarkable as are the characters, the dialogue, and the humor.

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