Still dominated by the memories of her late mother, Helen looks back on their lives together, and wonders why only her younger sister, Louise, found the courage to leave and live an independent life
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Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Lively is that rare writer who goes from strength to strength in book after perfectly assured book. In Passing On, she applies her distinctive insight and consummate artistry to the subtle story of a domineering and manipulative mother's legacy to her children. With their mother's death, Helen and Edward, both middle-aged and both unmarried, are left to face the ramifications of their mother's hold on their lives for all of these years. Helen and Edward slowly learn to accept what has been lost in their own lives and embrace what can yet be retrieved.
"The richest and most rewarding of her novels."-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
"This quiet novel will delight Penelope Lively's devoted readers, of whom the present writer is one. Passing On is, for my money, her most attractive novel to date."-Anita Brookner, The Spectator
"Passing On feels like real life drawn to scale, where private dreams dwarf the daily routine. . . . An expert at articulating character through place . . . Lively has a gift for invention and control. . . . The slow unfolding of secrets gives the book tension without melodrama."-Roz Spafford, San Francisco Chronicle
"Her command of narrative is fluent and self-assured, the mark of a novelist completely at ease with her craft."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Engrossing . . . Lively writes in a deceptively simple style passed down from nineteenth-century novelist Jane Austen via Barbara Pym to a new generation of British women authors. . . . The writing is sophisticated, with witty observations of people and their foibles. And the characters' narrow lives shed light on much larger issues of personal-and global-concern."-Judith Rosen, Boston Sunday Herald
"Sly subtleties, keen observations and raw emotional power . . . Remarkably fuses the comic and the tragic in a graceful, fluid narrative."-Sarah Gold, NewsdayAbout the Author:
Penelope Lively was born in 1933 in Cairo and spent her childhood there, moving to England in the last year of World War II. She has written many prizewinning novels and collections of short stories for both adults and children, including the novel Moon Tiger, which won England's prestigious Booker Prize in England in 1987, and most recently Heat Wave. She lives in Oxfordshire and London.
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