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Consequences by Penelope Lively
Consequences begins in a London park in 1935 where Lorna meets Matt. He's an artist sketching ducks in the park and she's trying to escape her snobby, wealthy family. They are instantly attracted to each other, marry, and move to rural Somerset. He has some success as an engraver before called to serve in World War II, and he never returns. A couple decades later, their daughter, Molly, becomes pregnant by a wealthy man, but refuses to marry him, instead waiting for love. Her daughter, Ruth, eventually does marry, but finds herself unhappy with it. After getting divorced, she goes abroad to find her grandfather's grave, and then back to the cottage in Somerset, bringing the story of the three women full circle. Penelope Lively's novel has received mixed reviews with The Independent saying, "This is not a long novel but it has a certain richness and covers such a swathe of time that it feels as if you have absorbed a great deal. The prose is elegant, the plotting meticulous but unobtrusive."