Review: Offshore – Penelope Lively 

Again I’m starting a book review saying that I’ve never read a book by this acclaimed author… Maybe these comments make you wonder what I *had* been reading before I started this challenge but that’s a topic for another day – or after mid-July 2016!The blurb describes this book as ‘set among the houseboat community of the river Thames’, this appealed to me as I don’t live too far from the Thames and have often wondered about the lives of those living in the house boats I’ve walked past on numerous times and a variety of places along the tow path. An auspicious start. 

It’s a short book and I found it unassuming and easy to read. The characters are a motley crew of people not comfortable living in mainstream society (on land) each with their unique situations and foibles but united against other people by their life not fully on land or water. 

I felt the ending came to soon though, and it left open a lot of possibilities of what could come next – maybe a good thing as it kept me thinking about the novel long past finishing reading it! But I do like a bit more closure with my books! 

Favourite quotes:

On Tilda and Martha, two young girls who live an impoverished life on a boat with their mum

“The walked together down the King’s Road, went into Woolworths, and were dazzled.”

“Richard was the kind of man who has two clean handkerchiefs on him at half past three in the morning.” 


And finally… I happened to walk from Putney to Waterloo at the weekend, passing a number of house boats along the way, it was a fitting sight having been reading this book! 


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