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Short Synopsis
In her sixteenth novel, Penelope Lively shows her extraordinary understanding of what makes us human as she delves into the mystery of family life.

Full Synopsis
All Alison ever wanted was a blissful childhood for her six children, with summers at the beach and birthday parties on the lawn at their family home. Together with Ingrid, the family au pair, she has worked hard to create a real "old-fashioned family life." But beneath its postcard sheen, the picture is clouded by a distant father, Alison's inexplicable emotional outbursts, and long-repressed secrets that no one dares mention. For years, Alison's adult children have protected her illusion of domestic perfection—but as each child confronts the effects of past choices on their current adult lives, it becomes evident that each must face the truth.

Penelope Lively's novels of history, memory, and character have earned her a loyal legion of fans. Like Ian McEwan's Atonement, this novel is a measured, thoughtful look at how events of the past, both small and large, seen and unseen, deeply inform character and the present. Quietly provocative and disturbing, Family Album is a highly nuanced work that showcases a master of her craft.

"Exquisite.... The writing is slick and deliberate, with a keen observation of middle-class domestic life." ---Chicago Sun-Times

"In [Lively's] haunting new novel...the act of forgetting is as strange and interesting as the power of remembering." ---The New York Times Book Review

"Through the masterly use of emotional intricacies, Lively gradually reveals the simmer beneath the surface that belies the image of unity Alison has insisted on for decades." ---Library Journal

"With its bountiful characters and exhaustive time traveling, Lively's vivisection of a nuclear family displays polished writing and fine character delineation." ---Publishers Weekly

"Bailey makes seemingly effortless switches between characters…She fully captures the spirit of Lively's novel." ---AudioFile
New York Times Bestseller

Family Album

A Novel

Author Penelope Lively

Narrated by Josephine Bailey

Publication date Nov 16, 2009

Running time 8 hrs

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