Passing On by Penelope Lively

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Passing On

The Man Booker Prize–winning author “charts the efforts of a middle-aged brother and sister to begin a new life after their tyrannical mother’s death” (The New York Times).
 
In Passing On, “the richest and most rewarding of her novels,” Penelope Lively applies her distinctive insight and consummate artistry to the story of an abusive and manipulative mother’s legacy to her children (The Washington Post Book World).
 
When Dorothy Glover dies, ending her reign of terror, siblings Helen and Edward Daimler, both middle-aged and unmarried, are left ill equipped to move forward and lead their own healthy, independent lives. But as time passes, the two slowly learn to accept what has been lost in their own lives and begin to embrace what can still be retrieved.
 
Writing with both wit and compassion, Lively conjures up Edward and Helen’s dilemmas with uncommon sympathy, immersing the reader in their concerns through her careful orchestration of emotional details.
 
Passing On feels like real life drawn to scale, where private dreams dwarf the daily routine . . . The slow unfolding of secrets gives the book tension without melodrama.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Publisher: Grove Press ISBN: 9780802197344 Pages: 224