It can be easy to forget how small the world really is, never more so than in Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories. This book is all over the place in terms of what’s happening. We follow three different (and distinctly different) story lines that seem to have only one thing in common – the innocence (or lack thereof) of the women involved.
This book is such an interesting read because the writing is so stream of conscious, which at times wore on me a bit. Especially when the characters were dialoguing, I had a hard time following and sometimes needed to read a passage a second time just to make sure I understand who was talking. For example:
Julia scrambled eggs for their supper, and after they had eaten she phoned the hospital and reported back to Amelia, “He’s alright apparently,” and Amelia said, “Really?” and Julia said, “Don’t you care?” and Amelia said, “No.” Because she didn’t, not really, maybe in theory but not in her heart because why should she care for someone else (how could she care for someone else) when nobody cared about her?
Whew. I’m a little worn out just from typing all that.
On one hand, I really like it. When there’s no dialogue I think it’s a refreshing style of writing that flows really well, because it’s written the way people think (or the way I think, at least). However, it does get just a mite confusing when we throw in the talking.
Really, though, that’s the only foible I have with this book. It’s an intriguing and fun read that is presented as a sort of mystery thriller but reads more like a drama about people and relationships with these unsolved murder cases as a backdrop.
This is the cover of my book and I don’t really like it because it doesn’t have any connection to the story. I mean, Jackson drives around a lot, but still. It does do a nice job of highlighting that Stephen King quote, so if you were my Aunt Di maybe this would be a good cover for you because you like Stephen King.
Another personality quirk about this book is that there’s not really one narrator or character who we follow. The detective, Jackson Brodie, is the one who connects all of the stories because he ends up investigating them all. And we do follow him and his thoughts often, but it still doesn’t quite feel like his story. He is a man after my own heart though, hankering to move to and retire in France. Also BBC apparently did an adaptation of the first three books in the series and Jason Isaacs played Jackson, which I just find to be great casting.
All in all, this is a really good book. I actually forgot I was reading it for a purpose other than enjoyment for a bit, which was nice. I’d love to continue reading the series!
I find this style of writing not really conducive to having a favorite passage. Nothing really stuck out to me.
Would I recommend this book? Heck yes. It’s got some very funny moments and characters (Binky made me laugh a couple of times) and has a strong storyline with a mystery to boot. It fits in many different genres, so would likely be a good fit for fans of multiple types of fiction.
Would I read this book again? Yep! It was also one of my under $3 buys, I had forgotten how many of those I have. So yet another success with not expensive books. Hooray!
Are you interested in purchasing this book? If so, and if you like Amazon and also like me maybe you’ll buy it from here!
for next week:
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
by Jane Austen