Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Atkinson, Kate

  11 Reviews

Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in Doncaster, telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn't married. A witty, startling account of Ruby's family, and the memorable events of her own life.

Comments from Groups

Great read. A bittersweet description of English family life. Fernside 001

Intensely written, witty, sad. 50 per cent of group enjoyed reading it and the rest lost interest. Very varied reactions. Auckland 234

Mixed reaction. Most people enjoyed the book but found the 'footnote' scenario made it more difficult to keep track of the characters. Ashburton 003

General consensus was that her later books are more enjoyable but this first book sets her style of writing and she is an accomplished storyteller. Welllington 153

Was a very successful read. All could identify with the historical aspects of the book and felt keen to read more of Atkinson's works. Alexandra 004

All enjoyed the book. Dark humour helped with all the sad parts of the story. Huntly 001

Many of the group identified with things in the 50s section of the book. We did not like the 'footnotes'. Felt that the author was being a bit clever going backward and forward in time. Had a few laughs though. Palmerston North 013



AUCK 234
In general, we all enjoyed this book. As always, with a diverse group, some enjoyed the lighter style of writing, while others enjoyed the sense of time that the author portrayed, while others had some trouble making sense of the footnotes. It's an interesting read and a really good book for a book group.
CHCH 231
All liked the book. Book notes excellent - really enhanced book.
Those who had read it, loved it....many had read it previously and are huge Kate A. fans.
AUCK 300
This book stirred up lots of discussion ( still going at 11pm!). 1 person "hated" the book, quite a few loved it, and some found it hard to read but enjoyed it.
AUCK 171
Read the notes first. A little confusing with all the characters over several generations, but would probably benefit from a second read. Theme is a bit depressing but not without humour. Prose was lovely.
The book was enjoyed by everyone. It was well-written but needed the reader's concentration. You needed to keep referring to the family tree to remember some of the connections. We had a really interesting discussion around the questions.
9 people - only 3 read and finished this book. Needless to say the other 6 didn't like it at all, and in particular found the plot fragmented, hard to follow, and the footnotes annoying. The 3 who completed it rather enjoyed it. Such diversity!
RICH 009
Most scored this book very highly and it generated lots of discussion.
Many found the rapid changes between time/generations/family members quite confusing. It would have been helpful to know there was a family tree in the notes before starting the book. We had a very thorough discussion though on changes in family life through the decades, changes to women's roles in the home, the idea of a perfect facade to show the world. Several readers recommended other Kate Atkinson novels to the group.
NAP 021
Well, this book certainly split our group right down the middle! Great lovers of Kate Atkinson confessed to having read all of her books, whereas others of the group could not "get with this book" at all. However, we all agreed that she is a very clever author.
ASHB 009
Everyone who finished the book ( a couple didn't) enjoyed it very much. Was written well, and showed humour in otherwise not so humorous situations. One or two felt the footnotes were a tad long as far as footnotes usually go, but otherwise a great read to end the year on.