Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
Updated: Feb 16
As the title suggests this novel is based around the idea of being able to relive your life until you get it right.
Starting in 1910 England, a baby is born during a snow storm and dies before she can take her first breath.
Then a baby is born in 1910 England and lives.
This baby is Ursula Todd, our main character, and we follow her as she lives life after life after life. We join her as she dies and lives again, and again and again each time taking a different course, and each time finding a different path.
This novel is a true celebration of Atkins skill as a fiction author, as she scales us forward and back through time, she shows her ability to provide historical fact, create devastating moments so real they stick with the reader for weeks after reading, and to entertain.
This book may suggest a possibility of becoming boring, through the endless repeat of the same characters life, but really Atkinson proves her skill by ensuring that each new life is just as gripping and shocking as the last.
Some of the real power in this novel however, comes from everything Atkinson doesn’t lay out for the reader to understand, the hints that maybe Ursula is not the only one reliving the same life.
Written with great depth, understanding and a brilliant eye for humanity at its greatest and weakest, Atkinson explores not only historical fact but love and passion in this flowing novel.
Although the book is filled with tragic endings, it concludes on a bright note that will leave readers feeling uplifted and overjoyed, ensuring that no reader comes away from this novel feeling bogged down.
A skillful book, and a glorious read, Life After Life should not be missed.
We Give Life After Life Three Stars
ISBN – 978-0-385-61867-0 Cover price (hard back) - £18.99 Available as an eBook