This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself, this place at which we arrive with a certain surprise - ambushed, or so it can seem. One of the few advantages of age is that you can report on it with a certain authority; you are a native now, and know what goes on here.
Taking in old age, the context of one's life and times, memory, reading and writing, and the identifying cargo of possessions - two ammonites, a cat, a pair of American ducks, and a leaping fish sherd, amongst others - this is an elegant, moving, and deeply enjoyable memoir by one of our most loved writers.
This relaxed book is for those who wonder how they will manage being elderly, and is what most of us probably think about all our lives, 'though we shove it to the back of our minds and try to not go there ! I enjoyed this enormously and it left me feeling charmed by Penelope Lively's attitude to life and her past as well as helping one to accept the inevitable, with a feeling of calm and indeed exilerasion for the value of memory. It is also a great book for suggestions of reading matter, from her personal library and for the reasons and inspirations she became a novelist. A must!
The narrator Anna Betinck is, the perfect voice for this book and easy to stay with from beginning to end and indeed complements this gifted novelist beautifully.