Shrines of Gaiety (by Kate Atkinson)


Shrines of Gaiety (by Kate Atkinson)Kate Atkinson should be somebody I should enjoy according to critics and reviewers. I am struggling here! I love crime novels so I should enjoy the Jackson Brodie stories but I don’t. Life After Life enjoyed critical success but I hated it.

Oh dear Shrines of Gaiety …

So I approached “Shrines of Gaiety” with a feeling of mixed emotions: I wanted to enjoy it but had struggled with earlier books. I read about 40% of the book but gave up yet again. So disappointing!

The plot started off encouraging enough with Nellie Coker, Queen of the Soho clubs, being released from jail just after the Great War. Her family seems a mixed bag of personalities with tensions between the siblings. It is soon apparent that rivalries between clubs overflow into violence and revenge.

It is an interesting start but Atkinson has a talent for developing the personalities in preference to moving the plot along at pace, and the action is pedestrian. Location descriptions are descriptive and atmospheric. Yes, the characters are more believable with all their backstories. There are just too many backstories in Shrines of Gaiety!

What a shame but yet again I did not enjoy a Kate Atkinson book. Atkinson has a legion of fans and admirers so I am sure the novel will appeal to them.

Review Copy from Netgalley – publication date: 27 Sep 2022

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