Case Histories
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1. The three cases that open Case Histories are at first quite separate, and leave you wondering how Atkinson is going to pull it all together into one story. You might discuss whether she is successful at doing that—and how.

2. Case Histories has three unsolved crimes and has a private eye as hero. Kate Atkinson is known as a 'literary writer' and won the Whitbread Prize for her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. How is Case Histories different from a traditional detectvie novel—or is it?

3. Jackson believes "that his job was to help people be good rather than punish them for being bad." Another discussion point would be whether you think he is a moral character, and how you feel the revelation of the tragedy in his own past illuminates his actions in the novel.

4. To Jackson, it seems as if everyone he encounters has lost someone or something. One of Kate Atkinson's recurrent themes is that of lost children. In spite of her wicked sense of humour, she creates an overwhelming sense of tension in this novel. Is it that this theme speaks directly to the lost child deep inside every one of us?

5. "Novels gave you a completely false idea about life, they told lies and the implied there were endings when in reality there were no endings, everything just went on and on and on." Is Kate Atkinson being mischievous here, or is this statement true of this novel?


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