by Kate Atkinson

Saturday, July 27, 2019

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Fab. I’m dithering over whether to give it four or five stars, but really, it’s only that it’s not Kate Atkinson’s best that’s making me even think about only four stars. But then it does have the same ability to mess with the reader’s sense of what’s going on that her best books have, not just Life After Life which is obvious about it. I remember feeling amazed by the way aspects of the story twisted in Behind the Scenes at the Museum and Human Croquet even though I’ve forgotten so much about those books that it’s probably about time I reread them to be amazed all over again. So, yes, have five stars.

Really the most amazing thing about this book I managed to wait to read it until I fell over it in a second hand paperback shop; which is nice for my bank balance obviously, but I think next time I could happily buy the hardback release. I think I held off this time because a spy story told from the point of view of the girl who transcribes the conversations between a double agent and his sources doesn’t sound that thrilling. But of course there is so much more going on here. If one of the male characters had told the same story it would have been a completely different one, and it might have been quite a good one, but the fresh viewpoint here allowed Atkinson a lot of leeway to tell her story in a different way, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a quick read, but do read carefully!