Consequences by Penelope Lively

consequences 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; 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 to 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.”

I stumbled across Consequences on GoodReads and added it to my list of books to read because I was intrigued by the idea of a multigenerational book. However, Consequences is a multigenerational book that was poorly executed.

Lively’s best characters, Lorna and Molly, exist at the beginning of the book but by the time you finally get to “know” Ruth, Molly’s daughter and Lorna’s granddaughter, I had lost all interest in her plight. As a whole, the characters were very one-dimensional and I couldn’t help but wish that Lively would have dropped the whole idea of a multigenerational book and instead concentrated solely on Lorna and Matt.

Yet, I did like the overall flow of the book. I can see how it would be perceived as “choppy” and “sporadic” but I felt that it was easy to read and follow along with.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Lively, Penelope. Consequences. New York: Viking Adult, 2008. 272 pgs. ISBN: 9780670038565. Source: Library.
Book Cover © Viking Press. Retrieved: March 9, 2008.

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