Behind the Scenes at the Museum (aka what Megan's reading)
I just finished Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, and wow, I wish it took me longer. Although this isn’t one of Atkinson’s most recent novels (I highly recommend checking out Life After Life—it will blow your mind), I don’t find myself bogged down with 90s colloquialisms. The novel follows Ruby Lennox, beginning with the day she is conceived, as she struggles to fit in with her family. From the first sentence, Ruby’s first-person perspective as a newly fertilized embryo signals the unusual angle this novel takes. That’s a hook if I’ve ever read one. Atkinson uses flashback to go back several generations of Ruby’s family, giving the reader a completely different insight to her current experiences. This story focuses on complex familial relationships and sorrow, earning Atkinson the Whitbread Book of the Year title. This is the kind of book you need to set aside time for. The characters deserve your full attention, otherwise, you’ll miss a carefully crafted detail. The characters have outrageous yet realistic quirks which even makes me care for Ruby’s mother, a sad tyrant who feels hard done by. Read this book, read Atkinson. You’ll find yourself wishing you created these characters.