Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


Goodreads Blurb:
"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.

Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtaking for both its audacity and its endless satisfactions."

Review:
I read this book as part of a challenge in one of my GR groups because I needed to read a book that started with L.  Can I just say how glad I am that I picked this book?  Not because it was amazingly good, but because I never would have picked it up if not for that challenge.

It was a good book that brought up a lot of excellent questions about the paradox of the space-time continuum but it was quite confusing in the beginning.   I actually didn't get the concept until about page 150.  Don't get me wrong, it was an amazing story before that point but I just didn't get the overall picture/point until that page.  Once I hit that point, I was totally immersed for the rest of the book.  I especially loved the tie-up in the last 30ish pages.  It was a really nice ending without actually ending the book (read it and you'll get it).

Another thing about this book: there was absolutely no fluff.  This is literature (or at least my version of it) so YA lovers beware.  It's deep and complicated and not an easy read but if you have the patience, you'll love it.

This book introduced a very interesting concept however I think the author could have made more of an effort to make the plot clearer in the beginning to provide a better hook.  It was completely mind-bending.  Sometimes too much so.

The Final Verdict:
A very good book with an interesting concept if you can stick it out.  It does get a bit confusing and mind-bending at first (well... really all throughout...) but overall, a well written book.
3 stars!

Quotes:
“Ursula craved solitude but she hated loneliness, a conundrum that she couldn’t even begin to solve.”  


“I feel as if I’m waiting for something dreadful to happen, and then I realize it already has.”  

“He was born a politician.
No, Ursula thought, he was born a baby, like everyone else. And this is what he has chosen to become.” 

“It was a long time ago now. And it was yesterday.” 

“You must never believe everything they say about a person. Generally speaking, most of it will be lies, half-truths at best.”

“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn't that be wonderful?”

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