On a peat and heather island off the west coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother Nora take refuge in the large mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear, like who her father was - variously Jimmy, Jack, or Ernie.
Effie tells of her life at college in Dundee, where she lives in a lethargic relationship with Bob, a student who never goes to lectures, seldom gets out of bed, and to whom the Klingons are as real as the French and the Germans (more real than the Luxemburgers). But strange things are happening. Why is Effie being followed? Why is everyone writing novels? Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 496 pages
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 20/01/2001
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780552997348
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- CD-Audio from £12.65
- eAudiobook MP3 from £7.20
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by LadyBlossom
In some parts this book had me laughing out loud, I did find that my interest faded towards the end however.
Review by samfsmith
What an odd book, queer and strange. Not one of Atkinson’s murder mysteries, it’s a novel within a novel within a novel. The narator is on an island off the Scottish coast with her “mother” for the summer and is relatin the story of her time at college. She was a creative writing major, and was writing a novel which is excerpted in the text.Essentially plotless, there is ample opportunity for Atkinson to display her quirky sense of humor. I love her humor and her writing. This novel is not as good as her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and very different from her murder mysteries, but worth a read.
Review by Greatrakes
I think this my favourite Kate Atkinson book. It's the story of Effie Andrews, told by Effie Andrews to her 'mother' Nora and sub-edited real time by Nora. It's interspersed with the novels of fellow students at Dundee university and with Effie's own Detective novel. Effie's mother isn't her mother, her grandmother isn't her grandmother and her father is unknown, there are various murders, and a disreputable private detective.The structure is completely nuts, but the book made me laugh out loud throughout, I especially loved the domestic life of Effie and Bob, the lazy, Star Trek loving, Philosophy student who talks in his sleep. It's Nora's own story that eventually leads Effie to the truth about her parents.