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Cleopatra's Sister (Charnwood Library) by…

Cleopatra's Sister (Charnwood Library) (original 1993; edition 1994)

by Penelope Lively

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254465,361 (3.45)25
Title:Cleopatra's Sister (Charnwood Library)
Authors:Penelope Lively
Info:Charnwood (Large Print) (1994), Edition: Large Print Ed, Hardcover
Collections:Your library

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Cleopatra's Sister by Penelope Lively (1993)


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Nice lower-upper-middle class English pair meet and bond during hostage taking exercise in a Mediterranean country (Libya disguised) during a political crisis.
  ivanfranko | Jul 4, 2018 |
If you had given this to me without the cover and the title page, I would have concluded fairly quickly that it was by Margaret Drabble. By which I mean that Lively's books are generally domestic in their focus, while this novel incorporates Current Events; specifically events in Iran, transposed to a not-really-disguised Libya and presided over by its late repulsive ruler. A good read, anyway.
  sonofcarc | Dec 29, 2017 |
Penelope Lively is a master at joining seemingly random, everyday events in people’s lives into a compelling story that would never have happened without those small moments. In Cleopatra’s Sister, she employs that technique to bring Howard Beamish and Lucy Faulkner together on a flight to Nairobi, and then explores what happens when the flight is unexpectedly diverted to the (fictional) country of Callimbia, which is in a period of unrest.

The novel begins by following Howard and Lucy from their childhood, with Howard becoming a paleontologist and Lucy, a journalist. Lively also intersperses chapters outlining the history of Callimbria. In Part 2, Howard and Lucy have not yet met, and they board their flight. The magic of this novel begins on landing in Callimbia, when our protagonists meet one another and it becomes clear their unexpected layover is anything but routine. It didn’t take long before I was emotionally invested in Howard and Lucy, and the suspense associated with their situation kept me glued to my reading chair until the end. This was a terrific read! ( )
  lauralkeet | Sep 22, 2017 |
The first part of this novel gives us three histories: that of Howard, Lucy, and the fictitious North African country of Callimbia. The chapters alternate and we learn how each of these entities got to where they find themselves in Part 2. I found it a bit of a slow start at first, until I realized that Lively was really ruminating on the role of events, both major and minor, in the shaping of people, places, and other events. What is fate and destiny and pre-determination, and how much control can we really exercise in our own lives and those around us?

The second part of the novel brings Howard and Lucy and Callimbia together. Howard and Lucy are traveling on the same flight to Nairobi when their plane makes an emergency landing in the conflict-ridden country. They are stuck there, in not very nice conditions and amid some danger, but obviously fate has brought them there for a reason. Cleopatra's Sister is really a romance, and a very well-done one, of two kind of awkward souls finding each other in the most unexpected of places. Lively's sharp writing and observations ground the story and breathe life into these characters, preventing the whole thing from even approaching the bad cliche it so easily could have become. It has been a while since I encountered such two real-seeming characters in a book, and two that I cared so much about. This is a wonderful little novel that I hope more people will read. ( )
5 vote katiekrug | Jan 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060922176, Paperback)

A palaeontologist by choice--and perhaps due to the accidental discovery of a fossil fragment on the north coast of England when he was six years old--Howard Beamish is flying to Nairobi on a professional mission when his plane is forced to land in an imaginary country called Callimbia. On assignment to write a travel piece for Sunday magazine, journalist Lucy Faulkner is on the same flight. What happens to Howard and Lucy in Callimbia is one of those accidents that determine fate, that can bring love and take away joy, that reveal to us the precariousness of our existence and the trajectory of our lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:31 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A paleontologist and a magazine journalist are forced to land in the imaginary country of Callimbia, while the British passengers of Capricorn Flight 500 are at the mercy of a capricious new ruler in this violence-torn country.

(summary from another edition)

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