Marcia's Reviews > How It All Began

How It All Began by Penelope Lively
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's review
Jan 20, 12

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, library, x2012
Read from January 18 to 19, 2012

Despite enthusiastic reviews and recommendations, I just didn't enjoy my time with Charlotte and the butterfly-wing-triggered chain of events that follows her mugging by a petty thief on a London street. For me, reading bliss is being completely drawn into and lost in a story. That state of bliss is somewhat lessened when I become conscious of the author tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "See how I did that with those words, that phrasing, that sentence structure?" Perhaps I just wasn't meant for this book at this time.

Quotes of Note (to me):
p. 7: Ah, old age. The twilight years--that delicate phrase. Twilight my foot--roaring dawn of a new life, more like, the one you didn't know about. We all avert our eyes, and then--wham! you're in there too, wondering how the hell this can have happened, and maybe it is an early circle of hell and here come the gleeful devils with their pitchforks, stabbing and prodding.

Except that life goes on in parallel--real life, good life with all its gifts and graces.

Charlotte, looking back at a long life:
You are on the edge of things now, clinging on to life's outer rim. You have this comet trail of your own lived life, sparks from which arrive in the head all the time, whether you want them or not.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Amanda Ishtayeh Felt the same about the book as you but I did love the part about reading on page 34. "Forever, reading has been central, the necessary fix, the support system. Her life has been informed by reading. She has read not just for distraction, sustenance, to pass the time, but she has read in a state of primal innocence, reading for enlightenment, for instruction, even"

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