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Cover art forShrines of Gaiety

Shrines of Gaiety

Kate Atkinson

Started Reading
Dec 17, 2022
Finished Reading
Dec 18, 2022

I like when Atkinson is in historical fiction mode, and here she has plenty of fun with post-WWI London with its underground clubs and corrupt cops and runaway girls. She has great fun, too, subverting the usual tropes: in another era the policeman Frobisher would be front and center as our unquestioned protagonist, but in this one he’s quite…mediocre, and not in the self-aware way of Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie. Thankfully we get characters like Nellie Coker and Gwendolen Kelling and Freda Murgatroyd. There’s plenty of menacing possibility to go around, but Atkinson steers clear of excessive violence and in the end the book is kinder to its characters than I expected.