Customer Review

55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON OLD AGE!, February 6, 2014
This review is from: Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir (Hardcover)
Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir by Penelope Lively is an insightful and fascinating consideration of old age and memory which will leave you with the thought whether it’s the traveling that’s better or having arrived at the destination. The Man Booker Prize-winning novelist’s memoir is driven by wistfulness and reminisce her journey of over eighty years, wondering if one remains the same or experiences change during the course of life. It is a deeply personal reflection which is both charming and compelling.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the memoir is the audacity of the author to honestly and candidly scrutinize the landscape of old age from the viewpoint of someone in her sunset years, which certainly wouldn’t be an easy task. Old age appears to be the overriding theme of the book. Though the memoir comes short on various fronts, the author’s masterful storytelling, sharpness and creativity makes it an enjoyable read.

Though age may no longer be on her side, her writing is as brilliant as ever, reminiscent of the time when she won the Booker for her book Moon Tiger in 1987. Reading the first section on “Old Age” makes one more thankful for her life. What flows all throughout the book is her recollection of her childhood years in Egypt. The section on “Life & Times” is informative and the section on “Six Things” is heavily reflective and personal. The book is all about Penelope Lively and there is not much information about her family. As she mentioned in the book, Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir “…. is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age.” And that’s what it is!
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Initial post: Feb 7, 2014 8:25:38 AM PST
Jill Meyer says:
Excellent review!
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