Road to Lichfield

Road to Lichfield

3.0 1
by Penelope Lively
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


In The Road to Lichfield, Penelope Lively explores the nature of history and memory as it is embodied in the life of a forty-year-old woman, Anne Linton, who unexpectedly learns that her father had a mistress. With this new knowledge, Linton must now examine the realities of her own life - of her childhood, her husband - and ask, What do they really know of

Overview


In The Road to Lichfield, Penelope Lively explores the nature of history and memory as it is embodied in the life of a forty-year-old woman, Anne Linton, who unexpectedly learns that her father had a mistress. With this new knowledge, Linton must now examine the realities of her own life - of her childhood, her husband - and ask, What do they really know of her? Deeply felt, beautifully controlled, The Road to Lichfield is a subtle exploration of memory and identity, of chance and consequence, of the intricate weave of generations across a past never fully known, a future never fully anticipated.

Editorial Reviews

Ellen Pall
...[A] homey, companionable book [that is] concerned with time and memory.
New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lively's growing audience of discriminating readers will welcome the belated U.S. publication of her first novel, issued in England in 1977. This quiet but moving book betrays few earmarks of the neophyte: Lively's economical yet evocative use of language, her preoccupation with history as a force in individual lives, and her dry wit are all in evidence here. The year she turns 40, two crises interrupt Anne Linton's orderly routine as the wife of an uncommunicative and slightly boring solicitor, mother of two teenagers, and part-time teacher of history. Her father's terminal illness necessitates her frequent traveling to Litchfield in the Midlands from her Berkshire home, and throws her into contact with schoolmaster David Fielding, with whom she begins an affair. On the surface her existence remains the same, but as she discovers a major secret in her father's life and pursues a clandestine life of her own, she must acknowledge the subjective nature of memories and reassess her own attitudes about the past. She is moved to question her involvement with a group of architectural preservationists who fight the demolition of old buildings, no matter how decrepit and useless, and turn antique artifacts into chic decorative objects. (Lively goes a bit overboard in her portrayal of one character who is obsessed with doing good--``a prettier woman would have taken up adultery''--but her humor has bite.) (Feb.)
Library Journal
This is Lively's first novel, originally published in England in 1977. It centers around British housewife Anne, whose father is dying in a nursing home. Anne goes to see him, in Lichfield, and in the process of cleaning out his house discovers that her father was someone she hadn't known well at all. ``I knew my father in one dimension only,'' she realizes. Her relationships with her husband, brother, and lover might be similarly described. Lively's prose is clean and readable. This novel will appeal to people who are familiar with her recent works and to those who enjoy well-written stories that convey a message without beating the reader over the head. Recommended.-- Mary Prokop, CEL Regional Lib . , Savannah, Ga.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802136251
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
937,376
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Beloved memoirist (A House Unlocked), children's book author (The Ghost of Thomas Kempe), and Booker Prize winner Penelope Lively is perhaps best known for smart, literate thrillers that look to the past for keys to understanding, like 2003's The Photograph. "I'm not an historian," Lively told Britain's The Observer, "but I can get interested -- obsessively interested -- with any aspect of the past."

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
March 17, 1933
Place of Birth:
Cairo, Egypt
Education:
Honors Degree in Modern History, University of Oxford, England, 1955

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Road to Lichfield 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago