Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson

Yay! Another great book! A friend recommended this to me and in turn, I am going to recommend it to my grown-up friends!

The seemingly unconnected lives of Olivia, Amelia, Julia, Victor, Jackson, Marlee, Laura, Mrs. Rain, Caroline, Michelle, and Theo (among others) are slowly drawn together in an amazing story about family, love, murder, abuse and self discovery. I know that probably sounds like a bit much, but at first the story is truly overwhelming. I was crying over my eggs benedict at a little cafe around the corner. Let me give you an example of the writing.

" "And anyway," he shouted after her, "maybe I don't want to eat bloody coriander!" She came to an abrupt halt, whiplashing the baby in the pushchair. She turned round and said, "Well maybe I do," and glared at him for the longest time, wishing she had the woodcutting ax with her, the ax that would split his skull like a melon or a pumpkin cleaved in two. No, not a melon, melons were sweet and exotic, not pedestrian enough for his head, and pumkins were vegetables that belonged in fairy tales. A turnip. Turnips were brutal, yokel vegetables. And he would drop like a headless scarecrow, right here in the field, and sink into the soil and never be seen again, and she could give the baby to her mother and ruin another life." (pp. 36-37)

There are so many subplots and characters that I am not sure how to even write about this title to give it any justice. The characters are compelling, they all have secrets and even the ones that I didn't like I still wanted to know.

I am definately going to pick up Atkinson's previous novels.

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