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Life After Life [Kindle Edition]

Kate Atkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,839 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

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.



Product Description

Review

"Kate Atkinson’s new novel is a box of delights. Ingenious in construction, indefatigably entertaining, it grips the reader’s imagination on the first page and never lets go. If you wish to be moved and astonished, read it. And if you want to give a dazzling present, buy it for your friends." (Hilary Mantel)

"

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,no1 New York Times author of Gone Girl, and Sharp Objects)

"Truly brilliant...Think of Audrey Niffenegger's The TimeTraveler's Wife or David Nicholl's One Day...[or] Martin Amis's Times Arrow, his rewinding of the Holocaust that was shortlisted for the Booker. Life After Life should have the popular success of the former and deserves to win prizes, too. It has that kind of thrill to it, of an already much-loved novelist taking a leap, and breaking through to the next level...This is a rare book that you want, Ursula-like, to start again the minute you have finished." (Helen Rumbelow The Times)

"What makes Atkinson an exceptional writer – and this is her most ambitious and most gripping work to date – is that she does so with an emotional delicacy and understanding that transcend experiment or playfulness. Life After Life gives us a heroine whose fictional underpinning is permanently exposed, whose artificial status is never in doubt; and yet one who feels painfully, horribly real to us." (Alex Clark Guardian)

"Merging family saga with a fluid sense of time and an extraordinarily vivid sense of history at its most human level. A dizzying and dazzling tour de force." (Amber Pearson Daily Mail)

Book Description

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and for the Costa Novel Award, Kate Atkinson's stunning new novel, about a woman who lives through the most turbulent events of the 20th century, including the London Blitz, and which asks: What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1096 KB
  • Print Length: 545 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (14 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQIFNGM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,839 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her latest novel Life After Life was shortlisted for the Women's (formerly Orange) Prize, the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Award, and won the 2014 Costa Novel Award. She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List, and was voted Waterstones UK Author of the Year at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards.

Photography © Martin Hunter

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
151 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable book 17 Jun. 2013
By Bron
Format:Kindle Edition
A seemingly small event can change the direction of a life completely: a chance encounter with a stranger who harms you or a conversation that detains you which means you miss bumping into the person, a meeting with the German you fall in love with and marry or being helped up from a fall by an Englishman. Life is full of moments which change the direction a person travels in and we have all wished we could go back and change something, or do it over again in a different way. And Life After Life explores this theme intricately, with sympathy, compassion and superb writing and plotting.

Ursula keeps being born, in 1910, living, dying and being born again within the same family but her decisions and reactions to events change, sometime nudged by a sense that something must be avoided at all costs, and her life keeps going off in different directions as she lives through the turbulent events of the first half of the 20th century. Sometimes you desperately want her to die so that a particular cycle will end and in others you want her to fight through and succeed.

Atkinson crafts Ursula's repeated lives beautifully and you are with her, rooting for her, in every one. But it is not just Ursula we get to know through her successive lives but also her family, friends, brief acquaintances and villains. We see not only the different directions Ursula takes but the impact of life and events on the people around her. Even the characters who make brief appearances are rich with detail and the main characters continue to grow through Ursula's lives along with our greater intimacy with Ursula herself. How many times can we read of a character being born? Well the answer is many times and still never be tired of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a treat! What a craftsmanship! 10 July 2014
By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
What a treat "Life After Life" was (especially after boring The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike)!) It's such a magnificent, beautifully written, utterly absorbing novel; the fact that it's around 500 pages long did not matter once I was immersed in the magical narrative.

So, this is a story (almost a saga) of a family the Todds, and particularly of Ursula Todd, a girl born during the storm in February 1910, who lives through the twentieth century witnessing some of the important events of our history. It's a tale of life, loss and rebirth. Ursula (who is very lovable, in fact, all her family are adorable, except perhaps for one member) meets her death at a number of times during the book through accidents, sickness and sometimes through violent death. Sometimes death comes sooner than I hoped, but at all times you can almost sense the presence of Grim Reaper somewhere close to the Todds family (and how unlucky can Ursula be if the death is waiting for her behind almost every corner!). But each time, when the death claims Ursula, the story rewinds straight to the beginning, but is told from a slightly different angle (the repetitions are limited). Kate Atkinson works the minutiae and details differently each time, adding more colours to the narrative, sometimes just a detail or two, sometimes the whole "beginning" is told differently. For me it all was entirely absorbing. And what a craftsmanship!

I must admit, I felt a little bit tired towards the end with the way the story progressed, but it did not spoil my impression of "Life After Life". I think it one of the best books I read this year, profound, inventive and compelling, beautifully written by a talented author.
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306 of 328 people found the following review helpful
By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
`Don't you wonder sometimes,' Ursula said. `If just one small thing had been changed, in the past, I mean....surely things would be different.'

I admit I am a big fan of Kate Atkinson's writing, having read most of her previous novels, with a particular fondness for the Jackson Brodie stories, my favourite probably being `When Will There Be Good News?'. I was therefore so excited to hear about a new novel coming from her and filled with great anticipation upon starting to read.

Life After Life didn't disappoint me; I think this is a very special book in many ways. It is imbued with the sparkling prose and the dark humour that is so often evident in Kate Atkinson's works. But this book features something rather clever and wonderful in terms of the structure and storyline.

The main character, Ursula Todd is born in 1910, during a heavy snowstorm, but sadly dies immediately, there's no time for the doctor to reach her. Then we read that Ursula Todd is born in 1910 during a heavy snowstorm, and lives. She has another chance, another start at life, and this pattern, this unique quality, stays with her as she lives, and lives again, and changes the direction of her life, having chance after chance to get it just right. What a premise!

We accompany Ursula as she lives through many of the major events of the twentieth century, with her personal highs and lows recounted, then changed, as she has another chance at her life, and then another. She takes a different route, and a different course is set. Kate Atkinson writes of the personal experiences of one woman in a way that makes for compelling reading. I loved Ursula's family and thought they were also all vividly brought to life, in particular her mother Sylvie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleverly written. Thoughtful. Description of life in the ...
Cleverly written. Thoughtful. Description of life in the war years for those coping at home - German and English - makes it very real.
Published 2 days ago by Mrs E
3.0 out of 5 stars I read it for book club but found it so ...
I read it for book club but found it so disjointed and hard to read. It took me ages to understand what was going on as I read it on my kindle, so had no clues on the back page!
Published 4 days ago by Sarah Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good time travel book
Another book I bought last year and loved it. I know time travel can never be real but if you just suspend belief for a few hours
Published 5 days ago by H. Grocott
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful book.
Published 5 days ago by Elinor Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
It's really weird but gripping. Which path is the actual one; the last one, not entirely sure. Still much to dwell upon. Well written.
Published 7 days ago by hzcobb
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah
An excellent read and beautifully written. It is written around the idea of how you would live your life if you had more than one chance, what you would do differently and how key... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good concept
Published 9 days ago by MSLAWRENC
4.0 out of 5 stars life after life
It started off well but about three quarters the way through it started to get frustrating. You wanted to finish so that you know If she died or went on for ever.
Published 9 days ago by Jacqueline Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
Absolutely loved this book. It really highlighted that how you live your life can have consequences on the future. Read more
Published 10 days ago by natasha JACKMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Very intriguing read, enjoyed all the historical detail and was totally captivated by the story which starts with a bang and quickly draws you in.
Published 11 days ago by Annie Layte
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