Charlotte Moore

The good ended happily

The most difficult task for a novelist is to engage the reader in an account of happiness. In Consequences, Penelope Lively manages to pull this off. She examines happiness as ‘a state of being that lifts you above ordinary existence, that pervades every moment, that confers immunity’. This ‘sublime content’ is achieved by Lorna, the first of three generations of women; the consequences of Lorna’s idyll shape the lives of her daughter Molly and grand-daughter Ruth.

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