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Extended Audio Sample Consequences: A Novel Audiobook, by Penelope Lively Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.91 out of 52.91 out of 52.91 out of 52.91 out of 52.91 out of 5 2.91 (34 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Penelope Lively Narrator: Josephine Bailey Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2007 ISBN: 9781400175024
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Consequences is a love-story-times-three that opens on the eve of the Second World War, with a chance meeting in St. James's Park, London. Wholly in love, Lorna and Matt leave the city for a cottage in a rural Somerset village. Their intimate life together is shattered when the war begins and by Matt's tragic death in action. Twenty years later, their daughter, Molly, happens upon a forgotten newspaper-a seemingly small moment that leads to her first job and, eventually, a pregnancy by a wealthy man who wants to marry her but whom she does not love. But it is her own daughter, Ruth, who begins the journey that will take her back to 1941-and a redefinition of herself and of love. Told in Lively's incomparable prose, Consequences is a powerful story of growth, death, and rebirth and a study of the previous century-its major and minor events, its shaping of public consciousness, and its changing of lives. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [Lively's] characters are beguiling, and her blend of romance and stinging social commentary is tonic. Booklist Starred Review
  • “A joyous ever-widening dance. At its center shimmers the idea of resiliency, of the continuity of humankind as embodied in one family.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A fine novel: intricate, heartbreaking, and redemptive.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The magical, passionate story of Lorna and Matt may be the most captivating, but readers will no doubt be moved by the tales of all three generations.”

    Bookmarks

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa Wagner | 2/20/2014

    " This book was an 'OK' read for me. Very easy to get through (2 days). I like how Penolope Lively worked in the three generations and history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 2/5/2014

    " In general, I really enjoy reading about wartime Britain, but I just didn't find this book that interesting. A bit disappointing because it was reviewed very highly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alethea | 1/30/2014

    " Destiny? Kismet? Just plain old chance? Lively explores the evolution of life choices through three generations of women in this very touching, pensive novel. With each generation building upon the "non-traditional" family shared by Lorna (grandma), Molly (mom) and Ruth (granddaughter), I thought Lively's subtle commentary on we can create family and what makes family a very interesting subtext spanning time from WWII to the 21st century. I really enjoyed her focus on the thoughts of each woman - rather than focusing on actions alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 1/26/2014

    " A young couple fall in love and leave for a cottage far from London, only to have their lives tragically interrupted by WWII. This is a good read. Read it slowly and savor the ambience and the modern questions that arise from the past. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 1/21/2014

    " Probably more of a 3.5 book. The story of three generations of English women and their intertwined lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/14/2014

    " I'm usually not much on multi-generational family sagas, but this one was lovely. Very quiet and the perfect way to spend a January afternoon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/12/2014

    " Well written and good characters. Not terribly exciting but a story with love and warmth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 1/11/2014

    " Just finished reading this. Classic Lively - she brings things full circle "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 1/5/2014

    " I tried to get into it, but I couldn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bex | 12/27/2013

    " Certainly well-crafted and worth reading, but was not one of my favorites of hers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/22/2013

    " Well written, great character development but not much of a plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/15/2013

    " a very readable generational saga. i liked it, though i cried a little. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ani | 11/20/2013

    " Pretty good, but I wouldn't have read this if it wasn't given to me as a gift. I still don't think I would seek it out. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cassandra | 11/19/2013

    " Just finished it over spring break. It had such an interesting beginning, but the rest of the book could get a little dry and drawn out with little to no pay off in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 8/21/2013

    " Too slow for me. I crawled through it in three weeks. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 A | 7/6/2013

    " Couldn't get into it. "Failed " it half way thru. Bland writing and uninteresting story. Also don't like the present tense writing style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linera | 6/21/2013

    " Not one of her best, not like Heat Wave or Spiderweb or Moon Tiger, for which she won the Booker. Good prose, but predictable plot, and I was more invested in the earlier characters, which often happens with generational stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 12/11/2012

    " While I enjoyed reading it, I wasn't swept away by the narrative or the characters. Still, I always enjoy a story set in the U.K., especially during World War II. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 tinne | 11/22/2012

    " Gripping novel which I read almost in one go. A very rich family story of 3 generations of women with the most lovely characters and a beautiful plot. It was quite moving and rich in historic detail where for example the war was concerned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vtalland | 9/29/2012

    " A bit slow going but worth it. Beautiful descriptions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chanpheng | 4/1/2012

    " Although an interesting story - three generations starting with an artist who dies during WWII, and children finding their identities - it's very uneven. Wonderfully written in some sections and sketchy in others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Racheal | 1/8/2012

    " Very satisfying novel - nothing spectacular, but sweet and at times wise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arden | 7/14/2011

    " This is a story of a family in England 1930s - present time, and how their actions affect the lives of their descendents. A well-written tale of love, war, art and the 20th century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 5/21/2011

    " Would definitely recommend this book, although the big secret isn't as big as implied. I really liked Lively's writing and am going to look for more by her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cristianne | 4/28/2011

    " Quick read, but I loved it. About family, place, memory, and perception. highly recommended. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Junaida | 4/22/2011

    " slow going, sometimes rambles on - introduced 5 characters in the first few pages, so its difficult to build a connection to the 'players' in the book. Will appeal to those who are familiar with life in England. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Therese | 4/17/2011

    " thought it would be better than it was. can't relate to the mom who lives her life to project a perfect image, and doesn't have the insight to see the facade is not working. All six kids look back on their childhood with completely different memories...that part was the most interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 NaniM | 4/4/2011

    " i take long time to finish this book. and the ending is dissapointing when the family mystery isnt THAT shocking. it turns out, they just a bunch of selfish kids who fail to appreciate their mother sacrifice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carey | 3/18/2011

    " A book in the mould of Annie Tyler et al, beautifully and skillfully written but ultimately pretty boring. The continual shifting of the narrative voice got a bit tiresome and the BIG secret was pretty unimpressive. I find these books about boring middle-class life just that - boring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gillian | 2/22/2011

    " An almost fractured narrative trying to find the 'truth' about a family by narration from each member. A lovely concept but executed half-heartedly. Could have been brilliant but is mediocre at best. However an easy and unchallenging read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angela | 2/21/2011

    " Not as interesting as some of her previous novels. The family is eccentric, the parents are sort of absorbed in their own way of doing things. There is a strange secret, but it's not that crazy. The children were not that interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 2/17/2011

    " Fascinating portrait of a large family. Good writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patricia | 1/10/2011

    " eh, wasn't all that impressed with the twistedness of her family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roberta | 1/10/2011

    " Nice enough, but just too boring. "

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About the Author
Author Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively was born in 1933 in Cairo and spent her childhood there, going to England in the last year of the Second World War. She holds a degree in modern history from Oxford University and is the author of nine novels, three volumes of short stories, and many books for children. Her novel Moon Tiger won the prestigious Booker Prize in England. She lives in North Oxfordshire and London.

About the Narrator

Josephine Bailey’s impeccable narrations include the British classics Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden. She has also used her subtly nuanced style to enliven historical fiction and light romances. She has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.