Thursday 18 February 2016

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. 
For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.
Kate Atkinson’s writing is gorgeous. Clever, in an effortless sort of way.

“The little heart. A helpless little heart beating wildly. Stopped suddenly like a bird dropped from the sky. A single shot. Darkness fell.”

The book is acclaimed, with loads of people just raving about it. The premise is brilliant, and well executed. The narrator on Audible was fantastic. She really nailed the voices and the pacing of the story. The characters grew beautifully, learned to do life better, and were charming and lovable.

But, dear reader, can you sense I am holding back here? Yes, because despite finding many things to delight in, the whole thing just didn’t hang together for me. It wasn’t that I was irritated by the restarts, they actually wove together. It wasn’t even that the ending never really did anything for me. 

Maybe the purposelessness was too much for my ever hopeful heart? Or maybe it’s just me?

Anyhoo, it’s three stars. Probably should be four, but I can’t bring myself to do that. Tell me what you thought.

ISBN: 9780316176484

You may also enjoy Ben Elton – Time and Time again.


Heidi and Darrell Bergesen and kids said...

I thought it was brilliant, def 4 or even 5 stars. Unless you read it on a kindle - it is one of those books that really needs to be read in a hard copy.

Bev Bouwer said...

Ok, I only listened to it, so that explains it. But why is this one better on hard copy?