This story is told in tantalizing pieces/sequences, alternating between 1925 to 2012. The slow reveal of details is exquisite. The central character, Teddy, is complex, both a WWII hero and yet somewhat cowardly in other aspects of his life. His relationship with his daughter Viola is particularly fascinating; she resents his reasonableness. And there is a big surprise at the end but in retrospect, this should have not been surprising because this novel is a companion to Atkinson’s superb last book, Life After Life.
- Majorr. Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson (very British story of honour and duty, unrequited love, racism and sexism …)
- The Boy In The Striped Pajamas – John Boyne (the tragedy of the holocaust from the contrasting viewpoints of two nine year-old boys)
- Behind The Scenes At The Museum – Kate Atkinson (her first book, excellent story-telling, both funny and sad; another “bad mother” book cf. Silver Star)
- The Painted Girls – Cathy Marie Buchanan (1880s Paris, three sisters and a dissolute single mother; one sister joins the ballet and is the model for Edgar Degas’ “Little Dancer Age 14”. A hard life)