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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2017
I thought this was a brilliant book. The idea is not entirely original, but the way the different 'lives' were interwoven entranced me. And of course it is beautifully written, as usual with Kate Atkinson, with a wonderful blend of humour and pathos. she has a gift for capturing a character, an event, a trivial detail or a whole era in just a few well-chosen words. The book has stayed in ly mlind several weeks after finishing it. A great read!
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on 15 June 2013
A woman lives her life over and over again. Some of her lives take unexpected turns, but most of them are only slightly different, although small differences produce big changes. At the start, it was difficult to know where this book was leading, but Kate Atkinson is my favourite living writer, and I knew that she wouldn't take me anywhere I didn't want to go. Only a writer at the height of her powers could handle this material so flawlessly, but this is more than a bravura performance, rather it is a profound exploration of what determines the outcomes of someone's life. This doesn't have the narrative drive of some of her other books, but the power is in the breadth and depth of the writing. The fact that the central character is a rather ordinary woman adds to the power. I read long into the night to finish it, then I couldn't sleep for thinking about the amazing work of literature it had been my privilege to read. Simply brilliant.
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on 8 September 2017
A great novel, as you would expect from such an acclaimed author. I love her style of writing and in Life after Life, Kate Atkinson delivers! It has elements of all emotions, sadness, often funny, wry and thoughtful. Her ability to rewrite one main characters history over and over may not suit all readers, but definitely a novel worth reading. I loved it!
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on 21 March 2014
I enjoyed this book, I liked the experimental nature of its construction up to a point. The characters, especially the main protagonist is engaging and I enjoyed the 'what if' spin offs of the narrative. I also thought all the period detail was brilliant. I was interested to read that Kate Atkinson says the book is about being British and I could identify with that theme throughout. However I do think ultimately that I prefer a more definite story, I want to know which decisions the writer made not all the ones she could make. This in the end stopped my loving the book as I have all her other books.
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on 24 June 2017
Very clever and an interesting take on the randomness of life. This wasn't too difficult to follow as there is only a small cast of characters, and their links to the parallel lives are well made. The stories are interesting. I found the novel kind of run out of steam at the end.
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on 18 September 2015
Loved reading this one.
The characters and the plot becomes more and more delightful with every repeating life. Reminded me of this short story about walking down a street and falling into a hole, again and again, until you learn how to avoid the hole. And then you walk down another street and fall into another hole.
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on 2 June 2014
I read this book at least three years ago, before it was a best seller. I loved it then and I loved it again now, when I retread it. If only it were true refers to the way the past and the future can change in an instant and all one's preconceptions fall away and disintegrate in a shower of stars. What actually happened? I don't know. It doesn't matter, but it is totally satisfying. I really wish real life was the same.
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on 22 August 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed this book - an intriguing story of the many (imagined) lives of Ursula Todd and the different outcomes of each. I so enjoyed this book I am going to read more of Kate Atkinson's books!
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on 19 February 2017
I was so disappointed when I finished this book, I could have read it forever. I was dubious when I read the synopsis, but I love Kate Atkinson's other books and it was another amazing achievement by this author.
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on 5 July 2017
Favourite book I've ever read. Could not recommend highly enough.
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