Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Consequences by Penelope Lively

This was a book club book pick and this particular group is really into WWII books this year.

Consequences revolves around the lives of the three Faraday women and how simple choices shape their lives. It starts with Lorna and Matt and a chance meeting at a lake. Lorna come from wealth and Matt is a talented artist more lower middle class than Lorna's more upper middle. The two fall instantly in love and are willing to face poor living conditions in a small rural cottage just to be together. The war shatters them as Lorna with her baby Molly must pick up the pieces. Lorna rebuilds with a close friend, Lucas, and dies in childbirth, leaving Molly alone to take care of Lucas and her new brother. Molly's life is as eventful as Lorna's, falling in and out of love, and becoming a young unwed mother to Ruth. Ruth's life seems uneventful, until she decides to embrace her family's past and maybe have her own fresh start.

I loved this multi-generational story. At first, I thought it was going to be a bit slow, because Lively is very detailed and she really loves to describe the surroundings of the characters, but you can't help being drawn into the characters' stories. I loved how it all came full circle at the end, by going back to the cottage. I also enjoyed seeing how pivotal events had an effect on the story. WWII shapes Lorna, the period after the war shapes Molly, and Ruth is shaped by the more relaxed 70s and 80s. The story focuses mainly on the women, but Matt, Lucas, and Molly's brother also get their own brief storylines.
I would recommend this for historical fiction fans and those who don't mind a slower story with well described setting and likeable, normal characters. 4 cups of cocoa!

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