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Help with When Will There Be Good News?

Hi
I am studying When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. The problem is there is a lot of waffle not related to the crime genre. I know basically how it fits but I am meant the whole book. How do you make sense of the waffle and determine the narrative structure of each character? The sentence structure and lexis is set out differently I think but any help on how? Also I know the basic outline of Atkinson's life and the Chillingden murders but does anyone have more specifics on context? I have a rough outline but need help in going into detail as I need to annotate it over the summer.
Original post by Atticus88
Hi
I am studying When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. The problem is there is a lot of waffle not related to the crime genre. I know basically how it fits but I am meant the whole book. How do you make sense of the waffle and determine the narrative structure of each character? The sentence structure and lexis is set out differently I think but any help on how? Also I know the basic outline of Atkinson's life and the Chillingden murders but does anyone have more specifics on context? I have a rough outline but need help in going into detail as I need to annotate it over the summer.


A few points :
Each character sets their own scene. There will come a point for each character which is the turning point - the main body of the story and this is often followed by an outcome or resolution for them. Identify these.

Is their narrative linear or does it hop back in time etc?

I have only read this book on holiday, not with any real brain engaged. Is there a reason why you have chosen this book? Does it have to be a crime book? I only mention as although this is a 'Crime book'... it's a bit paint by numbersy and doesn't really read like a crime book. There's so many coincidences it is totally unbelievable.
Reply 2
I have no choice as it is part of the AQA set text list and the text my school chose. I agree with the coincidence and the New York Times called her novels literary hydrids. That is why it is hard to study.
Original post by Atticus88
I have no choice as it is part of the AQA set text list and the text my school chose. I agree with the coincidence and the New York Times called her novels literary hydrids. That is why it is hard to study.


Do you get to choose a question or is this what will appear in the exam? Sorry- not au-fait with the new GCSEs (it's been a while!)
Reply 4
Original post by Friffinghell
Do you get to choose a question or is this what will appear in the exam? Sorry- not au-fait with the new GCSEs (it's been a while!)

I unfortunately don't have a choice as it is on the exam. And it is A-level. I have read several articles and materials on Atkinson so I have critics. It is going into more depth now. I am doing that, Brighton Rock and some poetry.
Original post by Atticus88
Hi
I am studying When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. The problem is there is a lot of waffle not related to the crime genre. I know basically how it fits but I am meant the whole book. How do you make sense of the waffle and determine the narrative structure of each character? The sentence structure and lexis is set out differently I think but any help on how? Also I know the basic outline of Atkinson's life and the Chillingden murders but does anyone have more specifics on context? I have a rough outline but need help in going into detail as I need to annotate it over the summer.


Hi there, I really struggled finding information on Kate Atkinson herself to add as contextual details. Therefore, I focused on the context of where and when the book is set and the fact that it is a post-modern piece rather than something from the Golden Age, like Agatha Christie. This is an important comparison as it shows that Atkinson blurs genres, focusing not only on one crime but a multitude and how they all impact the characters professional and private lives. Atkinson is a very frustrating writer when needing to analysise and annotate, because she has written so much that doesn't always fit into the crime genre. Atkinson prefers to focus on the psychology of her characters rather than the crime. Hence, why the first chapter "Harvest" is when the murder takes place, it taints the readers opinions on characters just as it has psychologically impacted Joanna. Furthermore, the first chapter uses the authorial method of analepsis, as I remember, Joanna is the narrator and therefore she is looking back, which highlights her guilt and remorse of losing her entire family to a random murderer and the fact she ran away. This chapter draws parallel to the Russell Murders.

Louise- conventional detective, but she stuggles with dividing her personal life from her professional life. She claims to be "hard-boiled" but she does get emtionally driven by the crimes. She talks about a crime where a lorry driver killed all these children in the back of another car because he was on a phone and he crashed into the back of the other car. Louise wishes she could have killed him at "at the scene of the crime"
Jackson- Unconventional detective, who is from a military background and has a daughter of his own. He works with Reggie to find out what happens. A modern duo.
Reggie- She highlights the faults within modern society, she has been left alone in a house, and modern society has allowed her to fall through the gap. Louise believe's that Reggie just craves to be a hero and her ideas are based on fantasy. Reggie, overturns this belief. Reggie is determined to find Joanna and the baby, because she is driven by love.
Joanna- She is basically the symbolism of feminism, she becomes courageous- "The great avenging angel". (Avenging angel- avenging could link to evil or bad, and angel is the symbol of all good. Which links to the idea of morality and the question- What is the definition of morality and moral righteousness?. We don't see Dr Hunter's actions as wrong or immoral, even though it is suggested that she gave the gun to Decker to kill himself.
Note: that in this novel, the men are the ones that commit the crime: Anderson, Mr Neil Hunter, Decker, Mason, Ginger and Blondie, and to some extent Reggie's brother. Also a more important theme to this novel than crime, may be Atkinson's use of coincidence.
I hope this helps, if you have any more questions or if anything that I have posted doesn't make sense, just let me know :smile:
Original post by Atticus88
Hi
I am studying When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. The problem is there is a lot of waffle not related to the crime genre. I know basically how it fits but I am meant the whole book. How do you make sense of the waffle and determine the narrative structure of each character? The sentence structure and lexis is set out differently I think but any help on how? Also I know the basic outline of Atkinson's life and the Chillingden murders but does anyone have more specifics on context? I have a rough outline but need help in going into detail as I need to annotate it over the summer.


Hi, I'm currently making revision notes and I'm wondering if anyone can help me find a couple quotes (I don't have my copy of the novel on me and the library is closed).

Jackson's sister Niamh dying
Jackson feeling more comfortable with Reggie
Jackson scammed by wife
Jackson finding Joanna in the wheat fields
Reggie feeling she has to look after Jackson

If anyone has any quotes for these to hand or even page numbers it would be really helpful :smile:
Reply 7
Im special
Reply 8
hey guys, is there a website, or a guide something that gives a good proper analyses of where will there be good news by Kate atkinson and Agatha Christie the murder of roger ackroyd. i am doing these for my A level so i really do need some top tier analyses for this, my teachers are just kind of like just reading the book in class without a proper analyses. can someone help, also i was wondering if getting a tutor for my final year was worth it, i am applying for top universities so i really need to do well.
Literally on the same boat as you. Did you find anything on what you were talking about?
Reply 10
Original post by KarlMarxmydad
Literally on the same boat as you. Did you find anything on what you were talking about?

Not really. I was just able to find university thesis on the books, I just take ideas and references from there. There is not much available out there
Oh alright, thanks. I'll let you know if I find anything useful too.
Reply 12
Hiya.
I'm year 13 and have studied this book, its actually one of my favourites. The main themes in this book as a whole is the violence towards women and a children. I would in particular try and look at Joanna's journey from victim to survivor 'she could run, she could shoot, she'd be all ready for the next time' and her eventual (SPOILER) murder of her two kidnappers, and how this helped her heal and moved on from guilt, having saved a baby.
In terms of structure, its almost cyclical in the fact that Jackson turned out to be the one who saved Joanna from the field of wheat at the beginning, her having 'not a scratch on her' was what allowed him to pick up his broken pieces and soldier on so to speak.

In terms of setting, you want to look at the traditional setting of the idyllic countryside flipped in harvest, and the wide spread nature of crime in the urban sprawl. This use of a city stops the traditional use of a small number of suspects, and so it feels as though crime is constant. There's no crime loop to close.

To begin with I'd pick three Key moments in the text to focus on in relation to the rest, this should help with essay writing later on, ALWAYS look at harvest, and another two, the ending is probably an important one two. Also familiarise yourself with the Needler case as this is an excellent comparison between victims and survivors and Joanna and Alison's reactions to crime. Also there is some lovely language devices in the Needler case extract.

Don't quote me on this, I'm not a teacher or anything, but this has worked for me a well and should help get you started.

p.s Familiarise yourself with the key characters as well, Joanna, Reggie and Louise. You'll want to know a bit about other characters too but not much, just so you can reference them when necessary.
Reply 13
Original post by Atticus88
Hi
I am studying When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson. The problem is there is a lot of waffle not related to the crime genre. I know basically how it fits but I am meant the whole book. How do you make sense of the waffle and determine the narrative structure of each character? The sentence structure and lexis is set out differently I think but any help on how? Also I know the basic outline of Atkinson's life and the Chillingden murders but does anyone have more specifics on context? I have a rough outline but need help in going into detail as I need to annotate it over the summer.


my thoughts, that have worked well for me, leading me to A-A* Is to pick three key scenes per character that relates to the crime, so that you know what you'll write about for each character, for example, Joanna - harvest, the kidnapping, and the resolution. Jackson - his intro, the train crash, connection to harvest and family issues. Lousie, her intro, the needler case, the res. Reggie: her intro, the crash, rescuing joanna and the res. (write about your chosen scenes but draw qoutes connecting to crime from all over) in terms of theme, do the same, find a beg, mid, and end scene for each theme, these can be the same as character scenes in some cases)

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