How It All Began

by Penelope Lively

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Featured image for How It All Began

I love Penelope Lively and really liked this story. I think the references to “chaos theory” are a bit overblown in most of the reviews I’ve seen. The plot is more like watching dominoes fall over and seeing how far away the effects of the initial nudge to the first domino are felt.

The cover is the most delightful one I’ve seen in years! I kept going back and looking at the picture and figuring out what all the books pictured were. Most of them feature in the book (apart from the Lively’s of course!) This is what I have deduced:

On the armchair: What Maisie Knew and The Pupil

On the table: The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2) Family Album The House of Mirth

On the shelf: Where the Wild Things Are Charlotte's Web City of the Mind  A Novel (A Black Cat Book ; B-398) House Unlocked and another edition of The House of Mirth I think.

I can’t make out most of the rest of the dustcoverless hardbacks and worn paperbacks. There are a stack of what looks to be Observer’s books: trees, zoo animals, wild animal, etc. and I think one of the paperbacks is Paula by Isabel Allende.

Anyway, I would like to thank the cover designer as well as the author for providing me with much entertainment! There are so many books where the cover picture has very little to do with the book and it’s delightful to find this much care taken with the image. The photography is credited to Stefanie Hafner.