Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Will There Be Good News?

Some years ago I read Kate Atkinson's first novel: Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I recall that I found it slightly strange and rather unrewarding. Notwithstanding that I have maintained an interest in her subsequent books and on my way back from New Zealand in April I read her When Will There Be Good News? I was not disappointed. If I'm honest although it is only 6 weeks since I read it it seems a very long time ago and I have only the good impressions rather than the detail in my mind.

It is a detective story without being a whodunnit. It's a story about individuals with whom you can identify or empathise; whom you can like or dislike; who have a realness about them that I certainly didn't remember from Behind the Scenes.

It is serious. It is funny. The story carries through the twists and turns of time and circumstance with clarity. It is (in my humble opinion) exceptionally well written. I enjoyed it very much and I will return to read the rest of her books. I hope you will too.
Reggie would have liked to say, 'And you're too old to wear it [make-up],' but unlike, apparently, everyone else in the world she kept her opinions to herself.
When they went shopping for an engagement ring in Alistair Tait's in Rose Street [Edinburgh].... [Been there, done that. There's a comfort in books set in familiar places].

Lying in bed Louise could see the rings glinting in the dark, even when the safe was shut. Band of gold. Band around the heart. Heart of darkness. Darkness evermore.

A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.

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