I liked Life after Life by Kate Atkinson a LOT, don’t be put off by a 3.5 star rating, that to me is a good read. I’ve always loved books with a time travel theme but this book has a twist on that. Ursula is living the same live over and over, making different decisions each time and hence living a different life each time. It was a gripping read and it was amazing how even a small alteration, such as taking a different route to walk home, would have huge consequences for herself and others in her life.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Published by Black Swan on January 30th 2014
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Narrator: Fenella Woolgar
Length: 15 hours 29 minutes
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WINNER OF THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.
My Thoughts on Life after Life by Kate Atkinson:
It’s mind-boggling to see the same life playing out over and over, in a myriad of different directions. It kind of made me think, how cool it would be to just hit, pause and rewind, every now and again in my own life!
“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
I listened on audio and initially it was hard to get into as it was confusing. But after a few chapters it all makes sense and you know when you hear the word ‘snow’ that death is imminent and a new life about to sprout.
“Life wasn’t about becoming, was it? It was about being.”
As well as the fascinating ‘what if’ story arc, this book also vividly portrays family life, life during the war (both in England and Germany) and I did enjoy watching that play out too. There is a plotline involving Hitler and I have mixed feels on that. I partly enjoyed it and partly thought it was too over the top.
“Most people muddled through events and only in retrospect realized their significance.”
My biggest drawback was the end of the book though. There was no big conclusion and I finished feeling a little bit dissatisfied. Up to that point though, I was happy to explore all the paths less travelled with Ursula and it’s a book that challenges and entertains which is always welcome in my eyes.
|Did I feel it?|
Thumbs up! I must read more by Kate Atkinson. Her exploration of reincarnation and destiny without getting too heavy has a lot to recommend it.