Book Review: Behind the Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
Behind the Scenes at the Museum is an absolutely charming novel. Written By Kate Atkinson, this was her debut novel, which won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Prize. It's a simplistic story with real depth to it, moving back and forwards through generations and told through the eyes of Ruby Lennox, mostly when she's a young girl and teenager. This in itself adds to the charm of the novel, with Ruby describing family life and the trials and tribulations of it from her perspective, injecting humour, even at times of tragedy. It reminds you of the simplistic view that a child has on family and life.
It takes a few chapters to settle into the book as it goes back and forward between generations and introduces many characters but there isn't lots of plots that you have to keep up with, it's just simply taking us through a few generations of a family, the make up of the family and how it has shaped Ruby's life.
The novel is most compelling and entertaining through the wit and poignancy of the authors writing. It's not a happy ever after novel, it's mostly about unfulfilled people plodding through life, quite often not the life they would have chosen but circumstance meant otherwise, and how this then impacted on their children's life, both as children and then as adults. The author has a very clever way of showing us that, although generations before us are historical to us and don't impact on our present, the events, decisions and life of our ancestors have brought us to where we are today in our own lives.
A beautiful cleverly written book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Behind The Scenes At The Museum By Kate Atkinson is available to buy here.