Penelope Lively’s literary gem is both love story and a story of a family through three generations.
The novel begins in London, in St. James’s Park, where Lorna and Matt encounter each other by chance. The young woman is from a wealthy, conservative and judgemental family. The young man is from the working classes, newly trained in the art of wood engraving. He is feeding the ducks, attracting the birds in the hope of sketching them. The two young people fall in love. They marry and move to a rustic cottage in the wilds of Somerset.
The next thing that happens to them is World War II.
It will not give away the plot if I tell you (since it is also mentioned in the write-up on the inside cover) that Matt joins the army, is sent to the Mediterranean, and is killed in May 1941 when German paratroopers invade the island of Crete.
Try Consequences. Read Lively’s wonderful prose, and decide what you think of Lorna and Matt, and some of the sad and joyful times of the twentieth century.