“Family Album” by Penelope Lively

familyalbumThis is an attractive paperback edition of British author Penelope Lively’s 2009 novel, Family Album. As always it lives up to it’s author’s name. It is a lively and provocative story of a family of six who live in a big country house and return over the years to discover a lot about each other they had never recognized when they were growing up.
There is a convincing picture of the mother, whose whole life is dedicated to running “a happy close family.” There is also the au pair girl, Ingrid, from Sweden who becomes integrated into this close family in a way no-one knows how to accept. The father, a writer, sticks close to his study, where he turns out books and sees as little of his children as he can manage.
Penelope Lively is an award-winning novelist and author of children’s literature. She won the Booker Prize for Moon Tiger, and wide acclaim for books like The Photograph  and Consequences. She is amusing and sharp in her observations, and altogether delightful to read.


Review by Anne McDougall