The other day, I arrived in DC an hour early for a lunch meeting, so naturally I wandered into KramerBooks, a place I can only describe as Heaven. In short: piles and piles of thoughtfully-selected books.
There I found HOW IT ALL BEGAN, Penelope Lively’s engaging novel about several British characters whose lives intersect and are in various ways affected after one of them, an older lady named Charlotte, gets mugged. The action rotates through different perspectives, and the shifting camera reminded me of how Tolstoy (particularly in ANNA KARENINA) follows the characters like a cameraman. If someone is mentioned when two people are talking, the narration turns to that third person.
I don’t want to give too much away. This book is a great escape, and even though I certainly had other things to do, I read it in one day. The tone is generally witty and light, but it will make you think about how we all influence one another and how sometimes unfortunate incidents turn out to have positive consequences.