Abigail and Dara both experienced life-changing events when
they were ten years old. One woman gets on with her life;
the other continues to look for answers to her past. The
question that Margot Livesey asks is what happens when two
women, each with a difficult childhood, become friends and
how will that friendship accommodate the ups and downs of
romantic love? How does childhood trauma affect people?
As the reader follows Abigail and Dara through life, it's
fascinating to see the effects of those early events. Is it
luck or fate that brings Dara together with Edward, a
musician, and Abigail together with Sean, a Ph.D. candidate?
Livesey complicates the question by suggesting that we make
our own luck, both good and bad, through our choices, but
the effects of those choices are...
Beyond the Book
The Victorian Era
Each of Margot Livesey's four key characters relates to a
specific author: John Keats, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens
and Virginia Woolf.
Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) and Charles Dickens were
both prominent Victorians, the term used to describe people,
things and events during the reign of Queen Victoria
(1837-1901). A great source of information on the Victorian
period can be found at
victorianweb.org. Created and managed by George Landow,
Professor of English and Art History at Brown University,
the website has more than 60,000 documents covering the
literature, history and culture of the age of Victoria. It
describes the social aspects of the...