Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Review of the Day: Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Kate Atkinson won the 1995 Whitbread (Costa) Book of the Year Award for her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, before going on to write seven more books, so far, including the popular Jackson Brodie mystery series.

In Museum, the precocious narrator Ruby Lenox takes us behind the scenes of the museum of her family history, starting with the very moment of her conception. Interleaved between the chapters of Ruby’s biography are lengthy “footnotes” that provide the story of earlier generations, back to Ruby’s great-grandmother.

This is a book about parents, children, sisters, love, marriage, infidelity, war, death, pets and the general hodgepodge of family life. Ruby is a beguilingly effervescent narrator, finding humor in the darkest cubbyholes of her family’s past and, eventually, finding her own place in the family gallery.


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