A thoroughly original and hilarious novel about mothers, daughters, and love, by the author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum.
On a weather-beaten island off the coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother, Nora, take refuge in the large, mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear--like who her real father was. Effie tells various versions of her life at college, where in fact she lives in a lethargic relationship with Bob, a student who never goes to lectures, seldom gets out of bed, and to whom Klingons are as real as Spaniards and Germans.
But as mother and daughter spin their tales, strange things are happening around them. Is Effie being followed? Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog?
In a brilliant comic narrative which explores the nonsensical power of language and meaning, Kate Atkinson has created another magical masterpiece.
""A sparkling comic meditation on how authors choose to tell their stories.""--Entertainment Weekly
""A full-bore, old-fashioned yarn--the kind that keeps you turning pages, hurrying toward the denouement long after you've told yourself you're going to bed.""--The Washington Post Book World
""Reads like the fictional equivalent of a magic trick; you might wonder how she pulls it off, but you're certain to marvel at the results.""--Harper's Bazaar
""Atkinson has found her best subject, thereby letting out the secret to writing a truly funny comic novel.""--Newsday