Friday, February 13, 2015

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Life After Life
Title: Life After Life
Author: Kate Atkinson
Publication Date: 4/2/13
Pages: 544
How I Found It: It was one of the biggest books of 2013.
Date Completed: January 4, 2015

Summary: Ursula Todd is born in 1910 England. She dies within minutes of her birth. And starts over. As she lives her life over and over again, she succumbs to all sorts of deaths: childhood accidents, influenza, bombings during the Blitz. Each time, each life, Atkinson explores the idea of how small decisions can change the course of a person's life in incredible ways. 

What I Thought: I really enjoyed this one. It was so different. It took me a bit to catch on to exactly what was happening, but once I did, I loved exploring each reincarnation of Ursula's life.

Reading the description, you would think the constant resetting would get monotonous. Somehow, Atkinson keeps it fresh and interesting. Each version of Ursula's life nudges her closer to an historic fate, one which Atkinson gives away in the first few pages, so I don't mind telling you. It's all setting Ursula up to bring down Hitler.

Yet, even that description makes you think the book is something it's not. It's not an adventure war novel. Some of the iterations of Ursula's life don't even get to WWII or, if they do, see her far away from any sort of military presence or action. Rather, the story swings around the characters and the choices they make.

I would absolutely recommend this one. Like I said, it's different. Unique, for sure. But in a perfectly beautiful way. It's like reading the same story over and over and still never knowing how it will end. I found it charming, whimsical, serious, and, above all, well-written.

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Yeah, I might.

A Reduced Review: I have never seen reincarnation told as such in a beautiful way; Ursula Todd captures the spirit of 'try, try again' as she unconsciously course corrects her life over and over.

No comments:

Post a Comment