‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ is Kate Atkinson’s debut novel first published in 1995 and narrated by Ruby Lennox born in 1952 to a middle-class family who live above a pet shop in York. The plot alternates between chapters recounting significant events in Ruby’s childhood during the 1950s and 1960s and extended “footnotes” about the earlier generations of her family told in non-chronological order. Most significantly, the story of what happened to Ruby’s great-grandmother Alice has implications for the whole family for many years to come. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Novel
‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett tells the story of Skeeter Phelan, a young white woman from Jackson, Mississippi who decides to write a book documenting the experiences of Aibileen, Minny and other black maids who work for white families. Set in the early 1960s during the Civil Rights movement, the maids are expected to look after the children, cook and clean yet they are persecuted because they are ‘colored’. It is a story that needs to be told.
I saw the film quite recently and enjoyed it but my mum said she thought the original book was better and lent it to me this week. Unsurprisingly, the film version is more saccharine than the book but the adaptation was still well done and the plot wasn’t altered too much. Moreover, watching the film beforehand and knowing how the story ends did not hinder my enjoyment of this excellent book.
Being British, I know virtually nothing about baseball. What I do know, I learnt from Charlie Brown in the Peanuts comic strip, meaning that in fact, I probably know even less than I think I do about what is probably the most American of sports. Happily, as far as I can tell, this did not really hinder my enjoyment of ‘The Art of Fielding’ by Chad Harbach. It does feature a lot of baseball especially in the first few chapters and some other passages which I admit were kind of lost on me. But the book as a whole is more about relationships which is something anyone can identify with (baseball fan or not) and the college experience which most people can identify with (American or not). Continue reading