Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
A love story that connects the lives of three generations, Lorna and Matt who experience heartache during World War II, their daughter Molly, and their granddaughter Ruth, who begins a journey that takes her back to 1941.

Blackwell North Amer
London, 1935: A chance meeting on a park bench on the eve of World War II sets in motion a love affair that reverberates through three generations. Matt and Lorna are deeply, defiantly, in love; they marry, and Lorna is pregnant when Matt is called for duty. But the war means Matt's death in action; it cuts short his artist's career and changes the course of Lorna's life. The war means that Lorna will marry again, and that Molly, their daughter, will grow up in a blasted landscape of bomb-sites and boarded windows, of households reconfigured by loss. But a chance look at a forgotten newspaper on the London tube leads Molly into her first job - and into the life of James Portland, a wealthy man she cannot love; and the postwar period gives way to a new era. Thirty years later, Ruth, Molly's own daughter, leaves her marriage for a journey that takes her back to 1941, to a new resolution of her own history and that of her family.

& Taylor

In a three-generation saga set against the second half of the twentieth century, a pair of lovers finds their lives in a rural Somerset village shattered by World War II, their daughter lands a first job through a forgotten newspaper, and their granddaughter questions her marriage while evaluating the past. By the author of The Photograph. 35,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Viking, c2007
ISBN: 9780670038565
Branch Call Number: Fiction Liv
Characteristics: 258 p. ; 24 cm


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multcolib_heathere Mar 13, 2016

The story of three generations of women, tracking the small, seemingly insignificant moments that ultimately determine the course of life events. Beautifully written, touching but not sappy romance.

Aug 17, 2014

(Spoiler alert) Lively's a wonderful writer, and this is a delightful family saga. It's not your "normal" family saga, though, because WW II and its consequences deprive it of most of the typical men that usually populate such sagas. It begins with Lorna and Matt in the 1930s, intensely in love, and their baby Molly. Lorna's parents disown her, but the couple's intense artistic life provide a few memories for Molly that carry her through life. Matt's killed in action; Lorna has no job skills but needs to support Molly. Matt's best friend, a disabled printer, offers her a job in London, so Molly grows up there. Later, she forms a relationship with a much older man, her boss, whom she doesn't love, but gives her a daughter, Ruth. These women form an unorthodox household full of love and laughter, but don't speak of how their choices led to where they are now. Ruth ultimately decides she needs to know how and why Lorna and Matt formed their strong bond. A lovely, sparely written book, showing that love can be found in the most unlikely places.

May 25, 2012

What a splendid book ! Penelope gets better and better - loved it !

Apr 02, 2012

Chick lit.

madame_librarian Feb 23, 2011

Lively's well-crafted novel is part small-scale family saga and part love story--actually, make that love stories. Beginning with a chance meeting of Lorna, an upper class young woman, and Matt, a starving artist from modest means, in an park in 1935, three generations of an English family are presented to us through the lives of three women, all quite independent in very different ways. Lorna rebels against strict family custom and marries "beneath" herself. Her daughter Molly finds herself pregnant by a married man and feels no compunction to have a husband. Ruth, Molly's daughter, returns somewhat to a conventional lifestyle after her own unusual upbringing, but in early middle-age, begins a journey of self discovery and an exploration of family history.

Husbands, lovers, brothers all play a part in this close-knit but small family, and it is a surprisingly liberal and supportive family. Artists and writers find a welcoming group when they cross paths with the Farady-Talbots. Each generation and its defining era--World War II, the peacetime shortages, the Thatcher years of political upheaval and strikes--is met with a particular equanimity by the family as they turn to each other and the richness of their own personal lives to weather the times. Lively's novel is indeed a gentle read, but it finds certain depth through her ability to make these characters come alive as they live mostly ordinary loves and deal with the ordinary joys and woes.
Also available on CD.

-Madame Librarian

Nov 04, 2009

This novel covers three generations from the early 1900's to present, but it is not a large book or heavy read - just right. There are no wasted words, every sentence takes you into the lives of the characters, their choices and of course the consequences. Really enjoyable!


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