Thursday, 4 March 2010

Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson


DATE READ: February 2010

NOTES: Human Croquet offers the reader Atkinson’s usual quirkiness. She is so fond of people “disappearing” – sometimes to pop up again but perhaps they are gone for ever. The happy family remains elusive…. The Fairfax parents disappear and Isabel and Charles are left with acidic Vinny. Next door Audrey is the troubled child of Headmaster Baxter and his abused wife who is always “bumping into doors” or “falling down stairs”.

But the missing father reappears after a long absence with Debbie his new wife. A baby is left on their doorstep….

There are lots of timeshifts so we don’t really know what is really happening. Of course, there is in the end a (more or less) rational explanation for everything. Her omniscient narrator allows us to know the truth in certain circumstances although the characters do not necessarily know.

Kate Atkinson writes with such energy making it hard to resist this funny but dark story.

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