Home right arrow Life & Style right arrow Books

How It All Began by Penelope Lively

How It All BeganOur book club novel for May is How It All Began by award-winning author Penelope Lively.

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.

This engaging and absorbing novel shows 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.

  • Penelope answered your questions here.
  • Listen to Penelope reading a chapter of the book in the Gransnet podcast (below).

"Lively's brilliance is of the creeping kind. There is a sense of formality, which falls away as the novel gains pace and builds towards an unforeseen end. She is particularly good at bending language to make it fit her cool and clear voice." The Times

"A pleasure to read...hugely enjoyable." Independent Penelope Lively

"A compulsively enjoyable novel by a writer whose eye and craft remain as needle-sharp as ever." Daily Telegraph

Penelope Lively has written many prize-winning novels for adults and children. They include: The Road To Lichfield, According To Mark, Moon Tiger (which won the 1987 Booker Prize), Heat Wave, Spiderweb, The Photograph, Making It Up, Consequences and Family Album. She lives in London and this is her seventeenth novel.

All of the free books have been given away now, unfortunately. You can order a paperback or an ebook on Amazon.

Other things you might like...

Gransnet forums

Log in to search forums