Life After Life {Book Review}


Published Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Author: Kate Atkinson
Pages: 529
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

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. – Summary from Goodreads

Imagine you’re sitting down to play your favorite video game {Mario Brothers, ExciteBike, pick your poison}. You start your game and die within the first level. You start again but this time make it to the second level. You die shortly after. You start again and you find that you’re getting a little further each time. But then you start to realize, after every death/restart, that the game is remembering your last spot and you begin the game at the start point but then find the drain to jump into that brings you to the last place you left off. That’s what reading this book is like. It’s also like Groundhog Day but more annoying.

I hated this book when I started and honestly it was a miracle that I even pushed through. It was so frustrating watching this character live and die, live and die, ad nauseam. I literally groaned every time I realized it was starting over. But then… something happened. I found myself attached to the main character and all of the supporting characters. It took them growing up a bit and finding their own footing in the world but it happened. At one point, Ursula finds herself in trouble and I found myself hoping she’d die so she could get out of said situation and do thing differently the next go round. Funny how that happens…I once groaned about it but then found myself hoping she’d die as to right the wrongs.

I loved this book when I finished and honestly, it was wonderful. If I could live my life over and over again {especially if I could do a few things different and meet my person earlier and make it all the way I wanted it} then I would. I mean, duh!, who wouldn’t ?! {if you wouldn’t, then I’m sorry I said duh! and assumed you were like me} The different avenues our main character {Ursula} takes over her life{lives?} are insanely interesting. Ursula is born in England a few years before the First World War and plays an important role in the Second World War as an adult. That’s about all I’m going to say about that as I can’t possibly reduce this HUGE story into a few sentences, nor will I try.

With all of that said, if you’re a fan of the movie Groundhog Day {thus enjoying repetition}, are a fan of WWI/WWII, love historical fiction with a dash of fantasy, then this is your book. {Andie/thebookheap, you would LOVE this book!!!!}


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