Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312186883, 352pp.
Publication Date: November 1999
"New York Times" "Book Review" Notable Book of the Year
Part fairy tale, part mystery, part coming-of-age novel, this novel tells the story of Isobel Fairfax, a girl growing up in Lythe, a typical 1960s British suburb. But Lythe was once the heart of an Elizabethan feudal estate and home to a young English tutor named William Shakespeare, and as Isobel investigates the strange history of her family, her neighbors, and her village, she occasionally gets caught in Shakespearean time warps. Meanwhile, she gets closer to the shocking truths about her missing mother, her war-hero father, and the hidden lives of her close friends and classmates. A stunning feat of imagination and storytelling, Kate Atkinson's "Human Croquet "is rich with the disappointments and possibilities every family shares.
"A novel which will dazzle readers for years to come." —Hilary Mantel, London Review of Books
"Human Croquet offers further proof that Kate Atkinson is off and running in quite a fantastic direction of her own devising." —Katharine Weber, The New York Times Book Review
"[Kate Atkinson] writes such fluid, sparkling prose that an ingenious plot almost seems too much to ask, but we get it anyway." —Salon.com
"A literary tour de force." —San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
"Intelligent, sympathetic, and terribly funny, this is simply a wonderful book."—Kate Tuttle, Boston Book Review
"Vivid and intriguing . . . [Human Croquet] fizzes and crackles along."—Penelope Lively, The Independent (London)