Passing On by Penelope Lively
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this account of how a domineering parent, even after her death, continues to affect the lives of two of her middle-aged children, Penelope Lively shows how hard it is to break free from the opinions of a caustic personality. Helen and Edward, both single, continue to live their lives in the same house they shared with their mother Dorothy whose things still fill the closets and cabinets. This novel is about the damaging effects of a opinionated parent whose voice continues to determine how Helen and Edward live their lives.
Penelope Lively's novels draw upon the realistic thoughts of her characters, most of whom are middle-aged or older. She writes truthfully and beautifully and I recommend her books. An added bonus for nature lovers is that in Passing On, as in several of her other novels, she writes in detail about gardens and the birds and other creatures who visit them.
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