Life After Life

Life After Life

A Novel

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
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"What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. 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 a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: 1st United States ed
ISBN: 9780316230797
0316230790
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 529 p.)

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s
spiderfelt_0
Sep 13, 2017

I was surprised by how immediately this book swept me up. The last several audiobooks I've tried either bored or frustrated me, and I was expecting this one to be the same. Despite revisiting elements of the same story, Atkinson kept uncovering new layers of the story, recreating the characters with unexpected variations.

CircMary Aug 01, 2017

What a clever concept - not exactly time travel, but it made the wheels of my mind start spinning in the same way. We all wonder "what if I had done this instead of that?" Kate Atkinson has a wild imagination. I enjoyed the ride. This is one of my most highly recommended books for Library patrons.

JCLAmandaW May 30, 2017

Every choice has a consequence that is far reaching. Ursula is able to relive her life with the hint of knowledge from previous lives; like the feelings of unexplained dread or deja vu. An intelligent and thoroughly engaging read.

k
karinmcgeorge
Apr 27, 2017

I found this a powerful and sad book. Sad because the pictures of two world wars seriously--if temporarily--undermined my illusion that everything's gonna be okay.
But there are worse things than feeling sad for humanity. And of course this book is chockablock full of love, beauty, sensitivity, and really good prose. Insights in almost every paragraph. I'm working on reading 2 more of Kate's.

j
jackieparker
Apr 17, 2017

I admit, I put this on my For Later shelf ages before I read it, so I'd forgotten entirely what I was getting myself into. This meant that since I was reading the audio version, without visual cues, that I was completely disoriented for a bit before I caught on to what was happening. Overall, it was brilliant. Difficult, at times, especially the versions of Ursula's life that were especially realistic and devastating (abusive husband; German husband), but the reoccurring threads and characters that repeatedly touched her story in different ways was fascinating and sometimes charming. More than just an exploration of how many decisions an author makes - it's a question of choices and fate, reincarnation, and revision.

c
cluhowy
Apr 07, 2017

Once I discover an author who is able to "hook me" from the 1st paragraph, I am driven to read every book written by that author. Atkinson has earned my approval and I've added her to my list of exceptional authors. Usually I don't make a habit of re-reading books (or watching movies a 2nd time) but in this case, I have already begun re-reading her books and I am still enjoying them as much as I did the 1st time around!

s
sheryl37
Feb 28, 2017

Favorite line from book about, Sugar cubes bouncing on floor like blind dice. ,

b
becker
Feb 25, 2017

The writing was beautiful and intelligent, the story was creative and unique and the characters were well developed....each one playing an important part in the story.

s
Soundreader
Feb 18, 2017

I was not instantly pulled into the story, however, after much reflection, I do not believe that was how Atkinson wanted her reader to enter the story. Many years later, after I came to the end, I find myself thinking of this book and the characters within it. She weaves a poignant and clever tale of the many lives of one person growing up in England during World War II. To me, it was the way the characters and each life changes by just living that much longer with each life that was the most intriguing aspect of this book. Well worth reading!

l
lborror
Jan 31, 2017

Loved this book, so well written! It does not spell everything out, you have to figure it out as you go but I enjoyed that challenge so I would highly recommend. The reader is very soothing but may take some getting use too.

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k
kn1226
Sep 14, 2015

Life is too precious to be unhappy.

s
sheirapop1
Aug 05, 2015

"He's always been a politician. 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.

n
nmullings
Jul 15, 2015

It's time she thought. A clock struck somewhere in sympathy. She thought of Teddy and Mrs. Woolf, of Roland and little Angela, of Nancy and Sylvie. She thought of Dr. Kellet and Pindar. Become such as you are, having learned what is. She knew what she was now. She was Ursula Beresford Todd and she was a witness.

debwalker Jul 08, 2014

Fur sie, fuhrer.

JCLJanineM Oct 28, 2013

"Darkness fell."

JCLJanineM Oct 28, 2013

"Home," it had struck her on the torturous drive back to London, wasn't Egerton Gardens, wasn't even Fox Corner. Home was an idea, and like Arcadia it was lost in the past."

b
becker
Jun 10, 2013

"They had triumphed over death this night. Sylvie wondered when death would seek his revenge."

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cindyhib Sep 09, 2014

ery Confusing!!!!

d
dkilrain
Mar 10, 2014

This is the first book I have read by this author. I will definitely read another book by her as her style of writing is great. However, this book was a bit hard to follow. The basic premise is to show what would happen if you could relive events in your life until you got them right. The concept is great, but a bit cumbersome in the execution. You end up having chapter after chapter of the same events happening with different outcomes. The net result is you are left with a story that has no real linear story as you aren't sure what this person's life really ended up being. In the end it seems there would be some sort of tying together of all the elements. However there was not, and the reader is left hanging in the air, which is frustrating slogging through a fairly dense book. This would be a great book for a book club though as there is lots of food for thought.

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d
dkilrain
Mar 10, 2014

dkilrain thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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