How It All Began, a novel by Penelope Lively
You have heard of the "ripple effect", Penelope begins her latest novel with just that.
Charlotte Rainsford is merely walking down the street when she is assaulted by a petty thief, this seemingly unusual event in Charlotte's life reaches out to her family, acquaintances, and even back to the petty thief himself. Charlotte's daughter, Rose, is notified of her mother's assault, at the hospital where Charlotte is being attended to, Rose phones her employer, Henry, who must deal with the fact that Rose needs to attend to her mother, but Henry is in dire need of assistance to attend a conference, he being the "key note" speaker, Henry enlists the assistance of his niece, Marion. Marion is a very successful interior designer, having an affair with Jeremy, whose wife picks up his cell phone message...... So you see the ripple effect has already spread beyond Charlotte's wildest imagination. Henry's speech is an absolute "flop" thanks to Marion's inept ability to help her uncle, Henry's professorial reputation is about to come crashing down, and in walks Mark, out to make his "mark" on the world, which of course leads to Henry's further demise, and so it goes ......
The writing was really wonderful, the story enjoyable and at times humorous, at times sad, was worth every minute spent away from doing my chores.