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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
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 143

3.5 stars, based on 143 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

  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 29 more book reviews
12 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 166 more book reviews
10 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 45 more book reviews
6 member(s) found this review helpful.
A great look at a complex family. This is not your typical dysfunctional family story. This is a perfect book group discussion type book.

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  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 56 more book reviews
This book kept me turning the pages from beginning to end. A good read.
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 7 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.
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
reviewed Behind the Scenes at the Museum on + 487 more book reviews
This book has received many rave reviews but I found it difficult to get into. It featured so many characters and swings back in forth in time that I couldn't keep them all straight.

Told from the viewpoint of Ruby who lets the reader in on her relatives (and boy, does she have a ton) most intimate secrets. It's interesting but the continued time flips and the huge cast of characters keeps jolting me out of the story.

I finished but but it remained too confusing and uninvolving a read for me to rate any higher than a 3. It just seemed to go on and on with minor peaks and valleys and lots of death and tragedy but no huge climax or surprises. None that were very surprising or shocking to me at least. Only sad and dreary.

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