A House Unlocked
In A House Unlocked, Whitbread Award- and Booker Prize-winning Penelope Lively takes us on a journey of her familial country house in England that her grandparents bought in 1923. As her narrative shifts from room to room, object to object, she paints a moving portrait of an era of rapid change -- and of the family that changed with the times. As she charts the course of the domestic tensions of class and community among her relatives, she brings to life the effects of the horrors of the Russian Revolution and the Holocaust through portraits of the refugees who came to live with them. A fascinating, intimate social history of its times, A House Unlocked is an eloquent meditation on place and time, memory and history, and above all a tribute to the meaning of home.
- Paperback | 240 pages
- 139.2 x 210.8 x 16mm | 276.7g
- 01 May 2003
- Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
- New York, United States
"Lively's one great subject...concerns the wages of time and the persistence of the past... In this elegiac yet resolutely unsentimental book, the house becomes a Rosetta stone for the author's familial memories and an unwitting index of social change... A House Unlocked is a free-associative excursion into the past." "[A House Unlocked] possesses far more depth than most other books two or three times its length.... [Lively's] comments on what she imagines and recalls invariably are interesting and perceptive; in one instance, they are also unexpcetedly moving." "Lively writes the sort of graceful, unobtrusive English that is rare these days....A House Unlocked is a very personal book, and the personality that shines through is an attractive one: diffident, thoughtful, gentle." "In this beguiling book, Lively describes the contents and customs of the house....By meticulously tracing the provenance of these objects [in the house], she re-creates the life they once furnished."