A review by jessreads82
Family Album by Penelope Lively


Following a large family in England, we learn about what happens inside a family, and not just the events, but how those events shape the children in the future, and how each of the family members can view one event so differently. What I really enjoyed was the empathy the author obviously had for each family member, being able to see their side of things. Rarely, are our family members ill-intentioned, but somehow, families end up hurting one another anyway. Usually, as the novel points out so well, because we refuse to see one another's side of things.

The writing was superb and original, although it took me a few chapters to get used to the third-person omniscient POV. When I first began the novel I was also intimidated by the amount of characters that were being introduced; six children (and their partners), two parents, the au-pair, and an aunt. It worked that the author first introduced one of the children, with her partner, in order to allow an attachment to her, before moving on to follow the other characters.

I would recommend the story to anyone who enjoys serious character-based literature.