If you like your multi-generational family sagas breezy and easy to read, and with if not a happy ending, then at least a hopeful ending filled with possibilities, Consequences is the book for you. Written in spare, clear prose, the saga begins in 1935 with Lorna, who rejects the strictures of her conventional, English upper-middle class background for love and a bucolic life in a country cottage with her gifted artist husband, Matt. When their daughter, Molly, is just a toddler, Matt is killed in battle during World War II. The young Molly exhibits the same independence in her restless life as she rejects marriage to her wealthy, older lover and chooses instead to raise their daughter, Ruth, as a single mother in the 1960s and 1970s. It is not until she reaches middle-age that Molly permits herself to fall in love and marry Sam, a poet (and mechanic). Ruth, the third generation, marries conventionally, but with a very different outcome.
All the generations remain within the sphere of the creative arts – wood engraving, publishing, poetry, journalism, and finally, an art gallery. The book itself covers seventy years in 258 pages, with world events always in the background and affecting the participants as each woman grows up and struggles to find her way in the world within the context of societal changes. The relatively short length of the book leaves less than ninety pages per generation, however, so this reviewer was left wanting more depth, more narrative and more character exploration. However, the story does come full circle, with the possibility of love for Ruth with the current owner of her grandparents’ cottage. Recommended for the author’s fans.