Kate Atkinson, Started Early, Took My Dog, (2010), 350p
This is another one of the lovely book club picks I got to read as a part of shadowing a book club at work. I actually came to realize as a part of the discussion that I have read another one of Atkinson’s books (Life After Life) prior to starting my blog. I guess I never really put two and two together (that this Atkinson was in fact that Atkinson), because the writing style was so different.
Started Early, Took My Dog is a non-linear piece of writing that seems to follow three characters (mostly follow – there are other characters that offer their point of view throughout the story): a former police officer turned mall security guard teetering towards loneliness and retirement; a private detective with a chip on his shoulders and three ex-wives to prove it; and a aged actress, slowly spiraling into dementia. The three are all connected by an event that changes all of their lives. Woven with tales from the past, long kept secrets waiting to be revealed, and a scrappy little terrier, this is really a piece of work.
I say piece of work, because I was sort of on the fence about it. I really didn’t care for any of the characters, other than who I deemed to be the protagonist, Tracy, and the dog. Of course I loved the dog. The description matched my pup exactly so needless to say that’s who I pictured. I didn’t really follow the story through almost the first two parts of it, but it came together at the end. The non-linear storytelling was difficult and Atkinson seemed to introduce to many character right off the bat. I had a hard time distinguishing between them. I also discovered that this is technically the third book in a series, so maybe that would explain my confusion.
All in all, I wasn’t impressed. But I did enjoy Atkinson’s other novel, so I guess I will call it even
Happy reading –