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How It All Began
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
17 posts | 17 read | 21 to read
A vibrant new novel from Penelope Lively-a wry, wise story about the surprising ways lives intersect. When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage unravels after an illicit love affair is revealed through an errant cell phone message; a posh yet financially strapped interior designer meets a business partner who might prove too good to be true; an old-guard historian tries to recapture his youthful vigor with an ill-conceived idea for a TV miniseries; and a middle-aged central European immigrant learns to speak English and reinvents his life with the assistance of some new friends. Through a richly conceived and colorful cast of characters, Penelope Lively explores the powerful role of chance in people's lives and deftly illustrates how our paths can be altered irrevocably by someone we will never even meet. Brought to life in her hallmark graceful prose and full of keen insights into human nature, How It All Began is an engaging, contemporary tale that is sure to strike a chord with her legion of loyal fans as well as new readers. A writer of rare wisdom, elegance, and humor, Lively is a consummate storyteller whose gifts are on full display in this masterful work.
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Reviewsbylola
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Friday night calls for a #bathandbook. 🥰🥰

LeahBergen Ohhh, what kind of mask is that?? 6mo
Reviewsbylola Hydrogel Face Mask with Rose Water (5 MASKS): WHOLESALE Gel Sheet Masks with Rose Essential Oils, Red Wine Essence, Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, and Vitamin E for Deep, Intensive Hydration https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0719CXFHG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_LHV1CbPBY6T6D It‘s the best price I‘ve seen for hydrogel masks. This was the first one from the pack I used and it was nice! @LeahBergen 6mo
LeahBergen I‘m off to look them up. Thanks! 😘 6mo
86 likes3 comments
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Reviewsbylola
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Henry has a #lustforlife that is slowly being chipped away by the aging process.

I am only three chapters into this one, which is a #darguschfamilybookclub pick. @Mdargusch gave it five stars while @Meredith3 was not a fan. I‘m unsure yet of how I feel about it. #maymoviemagic

Cinfhen I read an excellent book by the same author recently, which earned 5 stars from me ( a known #StarScrooge ) 6mo
Mdargusch @cinfhen- I‘m a big fan of her writing style. 6mo
BarbaraBB Me too @Mdargusch I recently read and enjoyed 6mo
Cinfhen Need to check out both titles @Mdargusch @BarbaraBB 6mo
96 likes1 stack add4 comments
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violabrain
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
Mehso-so

Would have been a pick for sure, but the terrible decision to include an omniscient narrator clumsily at the very beginning and very end (to explain the premise of the novel, as if I were too stupid to get it myself) completely ruined it for me. Nope.

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Well-ReadNeck
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Pickpick

Listened on audiobook. Enjoyed this novel showing the interconnections of several lives in London. Nicely narrated. #MountTBR

89 likes2 stack adds
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pari91
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Flowers make the soul bloom 💐

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pari91
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Getting in some Sunday reading 📖

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jlondon1963
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
Pickpick

A mugging that spiders out touching more than just the mugger and the victim.

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JennyM
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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I have been told this is wonderful. Let‘s see...

CarolynM I loved Moon Tiger. I've stacked this one. 9mo
JennyM @CarolynM it‘s really good so far 😊 9mo
66 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Mdargusch
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Pickpick

This is my first Penelope Lively book and it won‘t be my last. I wanted to cut up and save so much of her writing.

This was my choice for our family mark up book club so 🤞🏼 the others like it as much as I did!

I was charmed by the characters and loved the butterfly effect where everything in the story happened because 77 year old Charlotte was mugged. The connections and coincidences had me turning the pages to see how it would end.

MaGoose I love Penelope Lively's writing. I haven't read this book yet, so it's going onto my TBR list immediately! 11mo
ClairesReads I highly recommend Moon Tiger! 11mo
JennyM I have this sat by my bed. I might have to make it my next read 11mo
See All 15 Comments
Aimeesue I second @ClairesReads - Moon Tiger is brilliant. 11mo
Hollie What a pretty cover! 11mo
Reviewsbylola The cover makes me think of our house on Brentwood Rd. 11mo
BarbaraBB That looks good. I just bought her book Heat Wave and am looking forward to it. Also, I am happy you‘re reviewing again! ❤️ 11mo
Mdargusch So good to hear @ClairesReads @Aimeesue because that is the one I was thinking of reading next! 11mo
Mdargusch What have you read by her that you recommend @MaGoose ? 11mo
Mdargusch It‘s a nice story @JennyM 11mo
Mdargusch I really love that cover too @Hollie @Reviewsbylola ❤️ 11mo
Mdargusch I have that on my list too @BarbaraBB and thanks 😘 11mo
MaGoose @Mdargusch So far, Moon Tiger is the only one that I've read. But I've read it twice over the past few years because I liked it so much. One of these days, I hope to read more of her books. 11mo
Mdargusch That‘s 3 recommendations for Moon Tiger so that will be my next book of hers that I read! @MaGoose 11mo
emilyhaldi Woohoo!!! Can‘t wait to read it 📝 11mo
79 likes4 stack adds15 comments
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SarahRotenberry
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
Pickpick

I struggle to rate this book so I will settle on just north of average with a 3.5.
The butterfly effect has been examined so many times but in this instance, it is the personal connections and disconnections that are examined from one, random incident.
One you get acquainted with the large cast of characters, the story moves along amusingly and surprisingly. The omniscient narrator adds a humorous touch to the story‘s proceedings.

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Simona
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

This must be the place!
A perfect peace.

The poison tree,
forbidden fruit,
divided lives ...

Nothing to envy Sapiens,
runaway!

#SpinePoetry #riotgrams

BarbaraBB Wow!! You‘re a poet! 💜 2y
Linsy Love! ❤️💜💙 2y
Amabear This is cool! 2y
See All 12 Comments
Eggs Love it 2y
readordierachel Well done! 2y
emilyhaldi Nice!! 2y
goodbyefrancie Great! 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Wow - that was clever!!! 2y
ephemeralwaltz So good!!😍 2y
MissAimz_55 Amazing 2y
84 likes12 comments
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shawnmooney
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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TOKYO BOOK-OFF HAUL #3 of 5

In the event that I read it, it'll be my first Lively.

LeahBergen I like how you phrased that! 😆 2y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen The "it'll" (as opposed to 'it'd') shows my optimism! ? 2y
ReadingEnvy 🐙 2y
ReadingEnvy I once went to Powell's and explained to her helpful person I knew I needed to read a Penelope but I couldn't remember her last name. She helped me track down Fitzgeralds but I had the sense I needed this other Penelope. 2y
36 likes1 stack add4 comments
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GraciesLibrary
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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Mehso-so

We have all heard of the butterfly effect - the concept that small causes can have large effects. This is the premise of Lively's novel, "How It All Began". The cause begins with the first sentence of the book. The effects build gradually with several characters. I found the book enjoyable, but the characters only mildly held my interest.

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Tuppence123
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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lynneamch
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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@theladygreer is asking us to post our fav indie bookstore today with #independentseveryday. So, here is mine with the pic and tag from my very first Litsy post 7 months & close to 5000 litfluence points ago. Thank you Littens for this amazing bookish community! And, a big thanks to Flossie & her crew at UnionAve Bookstore in Knoxville, TN #getindie

38 likes1 stack add
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Kwizgiver
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
Pickpick

I liked how one event caused a chain reaction for all of the characters. Happenstance is a character.

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lynneamch
How It All Began: A Novel | Penelope Lively
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"She is as much a product of what she has read as of the way in which she has lived; she is like millions of others built by books, for whom books are an essential foodstuff, who could starve without." This is Charlotte. If you love books, you will love her. Let the feast begin!

rachelm Welcome! 3y
5 likes1 stack add1 comment