Length: 224 pages
About: Dying historian writes her own history
Style: 1st person
Where: England, India and Egypt
Claudia Hampton has lived a full life as historian, reporter, lover, mother. Now she is dying in a London hospital, where she remembers the events in her life, particularly a romance with a tank
commander during World War II, a passion that defined much of the rest of her life.
Chronology irritates me. There is no chronology inside my head. I am composed of a myriad Claudias who spin and mix and part like sparks of sunlight on water. The pack of cards I carry around is
forever shuffled and re-shuffled; there is no sequence, everything happens at once. The machines of the new technology, I understand, perform in much the same way: all knowledge is stored, to be
summoned up at the flick of a key. They sound, in theory, more efficient. Some of my keys don’t work; others demand pass-words, codes, random unlocking sequences. The collective past, curiously,
provides these. It is public property, but it is also deeply private. We all look differently at it. My Victorians are not your Victorians. My seventeenth century is not yours … The signals of my own
past come from the received past. The lives of others slot into my own life. I, me. Claudia H.
First of all, Lively's writing is incredible. Her descriptions of characters and her eye for detail bring the most everyday situations to life. You know these people; you can feel Lisa's
pain especially at growing up in the shadow of her flamboyant mother, a woman who doesn't want her daughter to call her mother because it's just too ordinary, and ordinary is what Claudia can never
be. Although Tom is the lover of her life, the man for whom she pines to her dying breath, the real love of her life is her brother Gordon, the only relationship that lasts.
Bostonbibliophile, May 11th 2011 for full review click here
Not so good:
While readers who come to hear an author discuss his or her book at the Guardian book club are usually fans, those who contribute to the blog on the book club website are sometimes detractors. The
impatient and unimpressed are at least as likely to take to the keyboard as the enthusiastic, especially if the book in question has been garlanded with any awards. So there is something unusual
about the unanimity of readers writing about Penelope Lively's Moon Tiger on the book club website. Contributors all wanted to express their admiration – but also their sense that Lively's novel
has not had its critical due.
Guardian book club, John Mullan 22nd May 2010 for full review click here
About the author
Penelope Lively was born in March 1933 in Cairo, Egypt and spent her childhood there. She came to England at the age of twelve, in 1945, and went to boarding school in Sussex. She subsequently
read Modern History at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize; once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to
Mark. Penelope Lively lives in London.