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Behind the Scenes at the Museum Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Behind the Scenes at the Museum.
This section contains 553 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Behind the Scenes at the Museum Study Guide

Behind the Scenes at the Museum Summary & Study Guide Description

Behind the Scenes at the Museum Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson.

The main character of this novel is Ruby Lennox. She takes the reader through her life from conception to being married with children of her own, to having to bury her own mother. When Ruby begins she knows all the things her mother thinks and feels about her life. The fact that her mother's life is not as she had imagined it is not lost on Ruby. As she grows up she can no longer tell what her mother is thinking but she never feels like her mother loves her. She always feels like her mother and father loved her sister Gillian more than her. Then when Gillian is eleven she is killed on Christmas Eve when she is hit by a bus. She feels her only friend in her home is her older sister Patricia, but when Patricia has a baby and she has to put the baby up for adoption and then later runs away from home, Ruby is left alone with just her mother and father. Then when Ruby catches her father having sex with a waitress at her uncle's wedding and then he immediately has a heart attack and dies, that leaves Ruby with only her mother. Later, Mr. Belling, her mother's new boyfriend, gets mad at her and tells her that she killed her own twin sister, Pearl. Ruby does not even remember having a twin, much less killing her. After seeing a doctor, Ruby finally remembers the day that Pearl died. Gillian had been telling Pearl to walk out on the iced over pond, and Pearl had fallen in. Gillian had told everyone that Ruby had pushed Pearl in by accident to keep herself out of trouble for telling her to walk on the ice in the first place. Ruby's mother had blamed Ruby for Pearl's death even though she knew it was an accident. When Ruby graduates from high school she goes to Scotland for a summer job but never returns home. Instead she marries a man there so he can stay in the country and the two of them have two daughters before they finally divorce. Ruby learns her mother is suffering from dementia and comes back to find her a nursing home and while home her mother suffers a stroke and soon after dies. Patricia comes home before their mother dies and the two girls finally realize that their mother did love them and they loved her too.

This novel also has a sub plot that tells about the lives of Ruby's mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Ruby's great-grand mother Alice leaves her children when they are young because she feels she cannot continue in the life she ends up with. The subplot takes the reader though these women's lives and shows how each of them end up in marriages that are not what they thought they would be. They all feel trapped by their husbands and children, and all live sad unhappy lives because of this. The affect is that all three of these women pass these feelings down to their children. In the end Patricia and Ruby stop this cycle as they realize that their mother did love them as best she knew how to and they are not going to make the same mistakes with their own children.

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This section contains 553 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Behind the Scenes at the Museum Study Guide
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