Oleander, Jacaranda

by Penelope Lively

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Featured image for Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived

This is an autobiographical memoir of Penelope Lively’s childhood which was mostly spent in Cairo - she “returned” to Britain, a country she barely knew, when she was 12 at the end of the second world war. It’s not the exotic setting that makes it fascinating as much as the implications of its subtitle “A Childhood Perceived”. Lively has almost as much to say about the nature of our memories of our childhoods as she does about the life her family lived in Egypt. Really enjoyable!