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Publisher's Summary

On a peat and heather island off the west coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother Nora take refuge in the large decaying 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, the land of cakes and William Wallace, 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? Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog?

©2000 Kate Atkinson (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • 01-03-16

Disappointed

Not as good as some of her other books. Took me a long time to work out who was who and why any of it mattered. And the narrator did not differentiate enough between settings to help sort this out. I think Kate A can get too carried away with her own cleverness, and this time it just didn't work out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jyam
  • 02-19-15

Intriguing story.

Unfortunately the reader did not use enough difference in the voice to make clear who all the different characters and stories were. The constant Scots accent hardly varied. Pity

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-18

Very disappointed

After having read most of Kate Atkinson’s books, this was very disappointing and a struggle to make to the end. The characters were not particularly likeable and the story lacked any substance outside of a thoroughly depressing drawl.

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  • Carole
  • 07-30-17

Over complicated

There is so much going on in this book that i lost interest. I am a big fan of her later works so thought I would read some of her earlier work but the storyline keeps moving between now, past and the book the main character Effie is writing. Her use of language is brilliant but unless you have a degree in English you will need you dictionary near by.

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  • Mama C
  • 05-20-17

Rambling...

Just could not get into the storyline or thread of this book, very disappointing having enjoyed Life After Life.