House Unlocked by Penelope Lively
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House Unlocked
By Penelope Lively

A House Unlocked

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Illustrated by Harry Brockway See other recent books by Harry Brockway
Format: Paperback

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House Unlocked by Penelope Lively

Book Description

A House Unlocked is Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively's classic memoir. The only child of divorced parents, Penelope Lively was often sent to stay at her grandparents' country house Golsoncott. Years later, as the house was sold out of the family, she began to piece together the lives of those she knew fifty years before. In a needlework sampler, she sees her grandmother and the wartime children that she sheltered under her roof in 1940. Potted meat jars remind her of the ritual of doing the flowers for church. The smell of the harness room brings her Aunt Rachel - avant-garde artist, fervent horserider - vividly back to life. In A House Unlocked, Penelope Lively delves into the domestic past of her former home, and tells of her own youth and the contrasts between life today and the way they lived then. "Wonderful. Lively is brilliant and original...Every page of this book captures your attention". (Daily Mail). "Remarkable, richly enjoyable ...a captivating memoir". (Helen Dunmore, The Times). "Engaging, curious, compelling, remarkable...Any time spent with Penelope Lively is a joy". (Observer). Penelope 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780141001647
ISBN-10: 014100164X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 27-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Penelope Lively

House in Norham Gardens by Penelope Lively House in Norham Gardens, Paperback (July 2016)

No 40 Norham Gardens, Oxford, is the home of Clare Mayfield, her two aged aunts and two lodgers. In the junk room, Clare discovers the vividly painted shield which her great-grandfather, an eminent anthropologist, had brought back from New Guinea. She becomes obsessed with its past and determined to find out more about its strange tribal origins.

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively Moon Tiger, Paperback (August 2015)

Claudia Hampton - beautiful, famous, independent, dying. But she remains defiant to the last, telling her nurses that she will write a 'history of the world... and in the process, my own'. But Claudia's life is entwined with others and she must allow those who knew her, loved her, the chance to speak, to put across their point of view.

» View all books by Penelope Lively


UK Kirkus Review » A House Unlocked is rather different from Lively's usual fare as a distinguished novelist. Golsoncott is a country house which her family has inhabited since 1923. As Lively looks through the strange, old-fashioned catalogue of possessions found within the house, she reflects on the social and political history which they invoke. She explains: 'This book has tried to use the furnishings of a house as a mnemonic system'. The house, and its belongings, such as the gong stand and the bon-bon dish all belong to a different age, an age which Lively herself remembers, and from which she recalls fascinating stories. The history of Mary Britnieva, a strong Russian woman whose husband was killed by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution is movingly recounted, as is that of Otto Kane, a Jewish boy escaping from the Third Reich. These mini-biographies all come together to form the history of this unconventional and yet very British country house. In this thought-provoking book Lively shows how much society has changed over the three-quarters-of-a-century during which her family has inhabited Golsoncott. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Penelope Lively

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. Penelope Lively lives in London.

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