Museum piece

2 10 2009

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson


From the back cover:

Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn’t married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby…Ruby tells the story of The Family, from the day at the end of the nineteenth century when a travelling French photographer catches frail beautiful Alice and her children, like flowers in amber, to the startling, witty, and memorable events of Ruby’s own life.

Rapturously received first novel this and one that I did enjoy but perhaps not quite as much as I had hoped. Whilst there are many entertaining and compelling characters in the family cast the episodic and slightly uneven and disjointed nature of the tales as they jump across the generations made matters (and the family tree) rather difficult to follow at times. Still, very well written and a pleasure to read although subsequent novels are stronger I think.

3 star

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