“In this elegiac yet resolutely unsentimental book, the house becomes a Rosetta stone for the author’s familial memories and an unwitting index of social change. . . . A House Unlocked might have the well-mannered surface of a Merchant-Ivory film, but beneath the decorous prose is a clear-eyed refusal to indulge in nostalgia.” Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
A House Unlocked
978-0-8021-4007-4 • $13.00 • Paperback • May 2003
In A House Unlocked, Penelope Lively takes us on a journey of her familial country house in England that her grandparents bought in 1923. As her narrative shifts from room to room, object to object, she paints a moving portrait of an era of rapid changeand of the family that changed with the times. As she charts the course of the domestic tensions of class and community among her relatives, she brings to life the effects of the horrors of the Russian Revolution and the Holocaust through portraits of the refugees who came to live with them. A fascinating, intimate social history of its times, A House Unlocked is an eloquent meditation on place and time, memory and history, and above all a tribute to the meaning of home.