Amy Galaviz's Reviews > Case Histories

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
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Jun 18, 2008

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Read in June, 2008

Behind the mystery of each of the three Case Histories, the theme that seemed to unite the different groups of characters was “the lost youth of young girls.” Each of the main characters sought answers to the tragic and sudden loss of a young female in his or her life.

Atkinson does a fantastic job illustrating each character through description, nuances of dialogue, and monologue-type trains-of-thought, but I found these parts of the novel to drag on at times. My personal preference would have been for her to not stray entirely so much from the central mysteries of the novel.

Also, for me the book got off to a slow start; I honestly wasn’t emotionally invested until approximately 100 pages or so into the novel. Especially at the beginning it kept jumping back and forth between completely different characters and scenarios. There were parts when instead of absorbing what was going on, I found myself spending a lot of time thinking, “and this relates to everything else, how?” The Michelle/Caroline storyline was particularly weak in the timeframe that it was presented in the novel. However, I did find each of the resolutions to the Case Histories to be shocking and unexpected, yet Atkinson presented them in a refreshing and hopeful way. Except for the case of Laura Wyre (solution completely out-of-the-blue and un-inferable until the end), I liked how the reader *could* have guessed at the solutions (e.g. Sylvia not being surprised at all when Jackson revealed Blue Mouse to her at the convent, Shirley looking up and to the right while being questioned about Michelle), but they were not completely obvious.
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