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.
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.
A great look at a complex family. This is not your typical dysfunctional family story. This is a perfect book group discussion type book.
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.
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.