A twenty-fifth anniversary edition of award-winning, bestselling author Kate Atkinson’s debut novel, a deeply moving and deeply funny family story of happiness and heartbreak
Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
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. Kate Atkinson’s dazzling first novel, named the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year in England, is a darkly comic, deeply moving story of family heartbreak and happiness.
|Product dimensions:||5.38(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Reading Group Guide
1. What do cupboards have to do with the story?
2. More than one reviewer compared Behind the Scenes at the Museum to Tristram Shandy and to the works of Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens. What might these novels have in common? How does Kate Atkinson update or expand upon the earlier books' use of narration and history?
3. One of Atkinson's innovations is her use of footnotes. Why do you think she adopted this non- fiction technique in a novel?
4. Although this novel is very much about a specific time and place, it has been embraced by audiences in twelve countries, in as many languages. What gives Behind the Scenes at the Museum such a universal appeal?
5. What is the meaning of the book's title?
6. What other fictional narrators does Ruby Lennox bring to mind?
7. What does Behind the Scenes at the Museum say about women's roles and opportunities in the family and in the world at large? What do the four generations of women in Ruby's family have in common?
8. Behind the Scenes at the Museum generated controversy in England when a critic called it "anti-family." How would you defend the book against this charge? What other novels, now considered classics, might have had to face this sort of accusation?