Life After Life Library Binding – 1 Feb 2014
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|Library Binding, 1 Feb 2014||
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PRAISE FOR LIFE AFTER LIFE
"Kate Atkinson is a marvel. 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, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl
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? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My husband read this book first and made me read it. I'm not really into anything 'spiritual' and don't believe in the 'afterlife' or ghosts or anything so I was skeptical about... Read morePublished 18 hours ago by Kay
I liked this book. Easy read. Very well written. Quirky. Excellently fleshed characters. Such a different story line. I should really read more books written by women. Loved it.Published 1 day ago by avidgamer
Although Life After Life was a fresh and bold story; I can't say I fully enjoyed it. This had to be one of the most frustrating reads I have come across in a long time but I can... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Elspeth G. Perkin
This is one of the most bizarre books I have ever read.
What if you could live your life over and over again until you got it right? Read more
I really enjoyed this book, it's different to anything I've read. The chapters during The Blitz were insightful. Ursula is a lovely character.Published 16 days ago by Vern
I loved this book, from start to finish I was completely gripped by its storyline. The structure of novel with how it returns to the birth of the central character and explores all... Read morePublished 17 days ago by SmiTh
I just finished this last night - testament to how much I enjoyed it is that with two children under the age of 3 I kept the book close and read a few minutes every chance I could... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Cleona Wallace