Family Album by Penelope Lively

About the book

Allersmead is a big shabby Victorian suburban house. The perfect place to grow up for elegant Sandra, difficult Gina, destructive Paul, considerate Katie, clever Roger and flighty Clare.

But was it?

As adults, the children return to Allersmead one by one. To their home-making mother and aloof writer father, and a house that for years has played silent witness to a family’s secrets. And one devastating secret of which no one speaks . . .

 

Reviewed by Sandy’s Reading Group

“Inoffensive but anti-climatic. Characters so lightly drawn that they didn’t engage us. The ‘devastating secret’ was fairly obvious from early on and the infamous cellar game lacked jeopardy. The descriptions of the house itself and the kitchen / cooking were quite evocative and it was easy to imagine the rambling family home. Generally rather bitty / disjointed, lacking a strong narrative drive. Unmemorable!”

star rating **

 

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