Monday, August 29, 2011

Where Did I Get This: Started Early, Took My Dog

I have no idea why I put Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog: A Novel on my library hold shelf.  It's a popular book, so it's been on my hold list for months, but it's not the kind of book I ordinarily seek out, although I do like literary mysteries such as P.D. James's books.  I have a book challenge to read a magazine top pick, so I thought it was an Economist recommendation, but now I can't find it on their list.  Maybe it was a librarything zeitgeist winner for a while (another challenge)? I have no idea.

Anyway, it was a good book, with the mystery giving a chance to look at abused or lost children, building a family or having one torn apart, and relationships between parents and children while moving between people connected through Tracy Waterhouse, who grabs a chance at parenthood unexpectedly, and who watched a little boy disappear many years ago.  People tracing a lost child from that past intersect with her, as does an elderly actress drifting through dementia.  I found it rather grim, with a bit too much helplessness and despair among the hope and connections.  I think this is the fourth book about Jackson Brodie, whose story took a strong second place to Tracy's, but I read it as an independent novel.  The characters are mostly powerfully drawn, with the exception of Tilly, whose dementia seemed carefully crafted to suit the story.  

I recommend Atkinson's books to people who like mysteries that are real books, but I won't seek out more because she's too good at showing the cliff edge that many people are on in the midst of their lives. Too depressing for me right now.

1 comment:

Even in Australia said...

I read it too. Totally agree with your take on it.