Saturday, May 2, 2009

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson -- A Book Review

I joined a book club!! It's at my local book store. I think they did it in hopes of bringing in some revenue, but hey I don't mind! ;0) Our first book was Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson.

It's hard to explain this book. It's mainly a novel about a family history told through one of the youngest members, Ruby. She's all-knowing (omniscient) of each individual story, but not of how they are feeling. The story runs around the times of both World Wars and portrays the role of the women during that time. Along with the way that role was changing.

I felt a bit detached from the book only relating to the relationship between the sisters. Even that relationship was flawed, but it was the only one that seemed to have any feeling behind it. It's also got an interesting twist that I picked up on right away. Others in my book club seemed to have missed the clues. I thought the clues were quite obvious, but I am prone to pick up on some things...much to the annoyance of my husband when we're watching movies! I don't like picking up on things it makes me feel left out of the big surprise! I think I read too much and watch too many movies/TV shows!! ;0)

In a museum all the artifacts follow a time line. In real life things aren't so linear. Events are all happening at once, but in a museum they need a way to display it. Right? Those artifacts and displays don't tell the whole story. Just like knowing your family history. We might know what their names are/were, where they went to school, who they married and who their kids are. We might even know a few of their dirty secrets or when they died. We might know all that, but that's just stuff on a timeline. What we don't know is how that person thought, their daily routines, behavioral traits and so on. Or in other words the scenes behind the museum.

Over all it was an entertaining read. It was funny, sarcastic, a little dark and satirical. I would recommend it as something a little different. It made for a good book club book as it gave us different topics to discuss which is another reason I recommend it. I love a book that makes me look at the world a little differently.

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