Passing On is the eighth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively. Helen is fifty-two and Edward forty-nine when Dorothy, their mother, dies, ending her reign of terror and leaving them ill-equipped to deal with their lives. Timid, cautious and naive, Helen makes the charming Giles Carnaby, familiy solicitor, the object of a belated ...
Passing On is the eighth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively. Helen is fifty-two and Edward forty-nine when Dorothy, their mother, dies, ending her reign of terror and leaving them ill-equipped to deal with their lives. Timid, cautious and naive, Helen makes the charming Giles Carnaby, familiy solicitor, the object of a belated schoolgirl crush, while Edward, free to express his sexuality at last, finds it gets the better of him. Dorothy may be dead and buried, but her iron grip continues to hold them in its power. "Passing On is about the essential difficulty of being English, of coping with peculiarly English varieties of guilt, nostalgia, frustration and desire". (Observer). "Lively is at her sharpest, alert to every conceivable irony". (Jonathan Coe, Guardian). 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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Publishers Weekly, 1989-12-01 Greystones is a moldy, drafty house of no great distinction located in the equally nondescript English town of Spaxton. The domineering and cantankerous Dorothy Glover has finally passed away, leaving her middle-aged progeny, Helen and Edward, to examine their lives, both past and future. It's a subtle plot and one that does well with Lively's ( The Road to Lichfield ) gently assured style. By revealing developments through small details--the discarded dishrags that mark the beginning of a relationship and the glimpse of a watch that signals its end--she delicately delineates the impact of love, scandal and turmoil. On the rare occasion when Lively gives reign to sweeping statements, as when the dramatic Louise comments on motherhood (``At the moments you wish you were shot of the whole thing you know perfectly well that it's precisely because you couldn't endure to be without it, now you know about it, that you've got to go through all this''), her writing doesn't quite ring true. But such instances are rare in this consistently engrossing tale. (Feb.)
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