Paleontologist Howard Beamish is flying to Nairobi when his plane is forced to land in Callimbia. Journalist Lucy Faulkner, on assignment to write a travel piece for a Sunday magazine, is on the same flight. What happens to Howard and Lucy in Callimbia is one of those accidents that determine fate, that bring love and take away joy, and that reveal the precariousness of our existence. With intelligence, grace, and gentle irony, Penelope Lively illuminates the age-old dance of myth and reality.
I always find Penelope Lively's books are slow to start while she builds out the characters and their backgrounds. But once they start coming together, the story takes off and becomes a really great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the narrator did a good job too.
When Maxon met Sunny, he was seven years, four months, and 18 days old. Or, he was 2693 rotations of the Earth old. Maxon was different. Sunny was different. They were different together. Now, 20 years later, they are married, and Sunny wants, more than anything, to be “normal”. She’s got the housewife thing down perfectly, but Maxon, a genius engineer, is on a NASA mission to the moon, programming robots for a new colony. Once they were two outcasts who found unlikely love in each other. But now they’re parents to an autistic son. And Sunny is pregnant again. And her mother is dying in the hospital.
Didn't think I would like this book at all from the description. It had been sitting in my library, unread, for ages and each time I looked at it, I wondered why on earth I had bought it. But as soon as I started listening, I realized the narrator was one of my favorite authors and I had bought it because she recommended it. So glad I did. Amazing story, great characters, held my attention the whole way through.
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Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is 77 years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus crazy. She is also Elsa's best and only friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
I loved A Man Called Ove, but this was even better. Off to read the next one he's written...
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him "the bitter neighbor from hell". But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.
One of the best books I've read in ages. Not at all what I was expecting, very pleasantly surprised.