Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

life after life

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One Response to “Life After Life, Kate Atkinson”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    Summary:
    Ursula Todd is born on February 11, 1910, and within minutes “Darkness fell” and her brief life ends. She is born again and survives for a few hours before dying. In her next go rounds Ursula lives for days, then months, then years before succumbing to death. As she relives her life, Ursula retains faint echoes of her previous attempts, and learns to trust her déjà vu and alter her fate. On her 16th birthday, her older brother brings home a friend from college who sets Ursula’s life on such a dismal path that death becomes a welcome release. She will make the same mistake twice. With each life, Ursula explores different variations and experiences different outcomes.

    Evaluation:
    The premise of Life After Life depends on the main character dying repeatedly, and this bleak promise could deter some readers from ever starting this book. Those readers will miss out on both the many variations of Ursula Todd’s life and Atkinson’s literary gem. The author masterfully weaves elements of Late-Victorian language and literature into a modernist plot. Since Ursula lives and dies through World War II her life varies from bleak to brilliant, but Atkinson illustrates even her darkest hours with a clear sense of purpose and pride. I actually found this book entertaining not in spite of the grim specter of death, but because of it. Think Groundhog Day meets Tess of the D’Urbervilles with a dash of The Book Thief for good measure. Ultimately, Life After Life, tenderly presents the story of a woman, a family, and a country striving for a better future.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: The Book Thief, Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, Slaughterhouse-Five

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