Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson

Ruby Lennox tells the story of her life, and that of her forebears.

I find it a little difficult to summarise the plot of the book: the structure has chapters of first person narrative, following the events from Ruby's conception to late middle-age; each chapter is followed by a "footnote" (of comparable length) filling in some of the family history. The subject matter of each footnote is suggested by some event in its chapter, so that they're not presented in any particular order, but jump back and forth in time.

The writing was very impressive - reminded me a bit of White Teeth - fluent and chatty (and the author's first book). However I didn't enjoy the book as much as I wanted (and expected) to. I think this was partly because I read it over a long period, during which I was reading other stuff, but partly because there were so many characters in the story that I lost track of which were the significant ones, and (because the chronology isn't sequential) how they related to each other.

So, I liked it, and think it'll be worth reading more by her, but it was a little bit disappointing.

Completed : 17-Nov-2008

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