A House Unlocked
In A House Unlocked, Penelope Lively recalls Golsoncott, the country house owned by her grandparents. She traces the history of the house and its inhabitants and in doing so charts the social and cultural changes which occurred in the 20th century.
A House Unlocked is Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively’s classic memoir.
The only child of divorced parents, Penelope Lively was often sent to stay at her grandparents’ country house Golsoncott. Years later, as the house was sold out of the family, she began to piece together the lives of those she knew fifty years before.
In a needlework sampler, she sees her grandmother and the wartime children that she sheltered under her roof in 1940. Potted meat jars remind her of the ritual of doing the flowers for church. The smell of the harness room brings her Aunt Rachel – avant-garde artist, fervent horserider – vividly back to life.
In A House Unlocked, Penelope Lively delves into the domestic past of her former home, and tells of her own youth and the contrasts between life today and the way they lived then.
‘Wonderful. Lively is brilliant and original . . . Every page of this book captures your attention’ Daily Mail
‘Remarkable, richly enjoyable . . . a captivating memoir’ Helen Dunmore, The Times
‘Engaging, curious, compelling, remarkable . . . Any time spent with Penelope Lively is a joy’ Observer
Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra’s Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.