Hardback: 477 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday 2013
Source: Tywyn Library, Wales.
First Sentences: 'A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the cafe. She had come in from the rain and drops of water still trembled like delicate dew on the fur coats of some of the women inside.'
Review Quote: "There aren't enough breathless adjectives to describe Life After Life: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound. Wildly inventive, deeply felt. Hilarious. Humane. Simply put: it's one of the best novels I've read this century."--Gillian Flynn, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author
Favourite Quote: “No point in thinking, you just have to get on with life. We only have one after all, we should try and do our best. We can never get it right, but we must try.”
Literary Awards: Women's Prize for Fiction Nominee for Shortlist (2013)
My Opinion: A fascinating read but one that takes a great deal of concentration if one is going to fully appreciate the story
The previous novels that I have read by Kate Atkinson 'Case Histories' 'One Good Turn' and When Will There Be Good News' have all been part of a series of novels featuring a former private detective.
'Life After Life' was therefore somewhat of a surprise as it was only when I picked up the copy in the library and read the blurb, that I discovered it was a narrative about parallel-lives.
A fascinating read but one that takes a great deal of concentration if one is going to fully appreciate the story as the female protagonist Ursula Todd keeps dying and being reborn. When the novel commences it is February 1910 and Ursula is about to be born for the first time, surviving just a few days before dying. Every time Ursula is reincarnated it is into the exact same life but each time she lives a little longer. Her many but one life is set in an era of havoc in Europe and the author has written some stirring descriptive passages particularly those scenes set in London during the Blitz, which I found particularly harrowing.
This novel made me think just how those ordinary things that happen in one's everyday life could so easily have dire and dramatic consequences, depending on the many decisions you make daily. It is these decisions and what happens that are cleverly shown in the storyline as Ursula's life progresses.
This is an emotional but rewarding read as you are drawn into the same events whether world events or ones within her family as she gets yet another chance again and again. Reincarnation is an interesting and fascinating concept but I am not sure about the opportunity to relive one life again and again.What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? What do you think?
'Life After Life' will certainly provide you with food for thought!
'Life After Life' Doubleday Book Trailer
Kate Atkinson was born in York on January 01, 1951, she now lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum', won the Whitbread(now Costa) Book of the Year Award. Since then has been a critically acclaimed international best selling author and in 2011 she was appointed an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
When Will There Be Good News? was voted Richard & Judy Book Best Read of the Year. After Case Histories and One Good Turn, it was her third novel to feature the former private detective Jackson Brodie, who makes a welcome return in Started Early,Took My Dog.
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.
Goodreads Author Profile Kate Atkinson - Official Website Facebook Page
Amazon Author Profile YouTube - Kate Atkinson - Life After Life
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