Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Synopsis

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again.

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My thoughts

This is one of the most bizarre books I have ever read.

What if you could live your life over and over again until you got it right?

That’s what happens to Ursula Todd each time she dies, her life begins again and again each time slightly (or a lot) different, depending on the choices she makes, and these change each time as well as the character experiences deja vu at certain key points, sometime this helps her from dying in the same way.

This is a great premise for a book, but I’m afraid that’s all it is and the character of Ursula, while experiencing new things with each life doesn’t really accomplish anything major, the nearest she comes to changing history is when she attempts to assassinate Hitler before the start of World War 2, of course she herself is killed at this point and then of course history resets and her life begins again.

And the sad thing is that there were some really good points but I just  did not care enough about the character and wanted to know more about her Aunt Izzie, who sounded much more interesting.

If Atkinson had created a international disaster that Ursula had to stop and that is why she was born at that point in history the book would have worked really well, but because after World War 2 she went on and lived a normal life it left the premise of the book looking pointless.

However although I didn’t like this particular book, I would still pick up a book by Atkinson as when the story was good the writing was excellent.

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About Andrea Pryke

I have been collecting Marilyn Monroe items since 1990 and the collection includes around 400 books, as well as films, documentaries, dolls, records and all sorts of other items
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