Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life After Life

by Kate Atkinson

The idea of this book is pretty intriguing. A baby girl is born, she dies, she is reborn and learns from her previous life how to stay alive the next time, only to encounter a new death and be reborn again, and so goes Life After Life. I give kudos to this concept and therefore cut some slack in my review, because I like a well written book that piques my interest.

As you can imagine, the beginning of the story is rather repetitive and after a while borders on mundane. But then about midway through Ursula becomes an adult at the outset of WWII and her retreaded lives become quite interesting as she tries not only to keep herself alive, but perhaps alter history. Atkinson provides a lot of details of life in London during the war and situates her character in some unique circumstances.

Overall I liked the book, but I did wonder to what end was all this living and dying? In each life Ursula remembered some things from her previous life, which she then used to alter her next life, but she was never able to put it all together and get it just right. Then again, maybe that's the point?

At times re-reading the life story got old and the end was a little confusing then suddenly it was finished, but I'd say it's worth the read. 

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