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Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Author: Kate Atkinson
Ruby Lennox begins narrating her own life at the moment of her conception, and from there takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of a girl determined to learn more about her family and the secrets it keeps.
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ISBN-13: 9780312150600
ISBN-10: 0312150601
Publication Date: 1/1997
Pages: 333
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 150 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
Memorable. Surprises abound. Characters to really care about, to love, and to be appalled by! A true picture of growing up in the 50s, with an abundance of detailed domestic life. Certain passages stay with the reader, like: "I have been to the world's end and back and now I know what I would put in my bottom drawer. I would put my sisters." The bottom drawer, when you read the book, stands for a place for needful things.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 166 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
A terrific book by hot British writer Kate Atkinson, author of "Case Histories." This one was a Whitbread Book of the Year, and on the NY Times "Notable Books of the Year" list.
Alternating between a first person account of the young life of Ruby Lennox, and a series of chapter-long 'footnotes' that give insight into the backstory of Ruby's extended family, the book is darkly comic, sometimes tragic, wise, and very original.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A great look at a complex family. This is not your typical dysfunctional family story. This is a perfect book group discussion type book.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Totally engrossing story of the life of a girl that starts from the moment she is conceived. I found that once I started reading it, I could not lay it down until it was finished.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The unique perspective of this book draws you in; you almost instantly feel sorry for its narrator and immediately grasp how dysfunctional her family life will be. The book has some dark humor and is, for the most part, a dark book. It has some intense surprises in it (that I really didn't see coming) and at the end, the book is rather uplifting. It follows much more than the narrators sad life, it really follows the lives of about three generations of women in her family. Since it encompassses such a wide time-span, it really reads like historical fiction at times, with female perspectives on two World Wars, life in the 50's, etc. A fascinating read focused on the relationship between mothers and their kids, but also a multi-generational perspective on women's search for acceptance and happiness.
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reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 77 more book reviews
I was so looking forward to reading this book, based on reviews and Kate Atkinson's reputation. I knew it would be different from her other novels, but didn't expect it to be so disconnected. I plodded through 84 pages and just felt like I was obligated to pick it up. When I feel like I 'should' finish a book, and am not reading for enjoyment, it's time to put it down. I found myself a little depressed the week I struggled to read it, not realizing it was this book making me feel so blue. Maybe a good murder mystery will lift my spirits! I hope the next pbs member enjoys it!
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 55 more book reviews
This book kept me turning the pages from beginning to end. A good read.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 9 more book reviews
Love this author's quirky, dark sense of humor. Have read most of her Jackson Brodie series but may have liked this one more. You may need a notepad to keep track of the characters in the different generations, though.

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