Apparently, Christmas is less than two months away. I don’t want to believe it because then it would mean that the year is almost over and what do I have to show for it…? Time mercilessly marches forward while I am left floundering in its wake. Dramatic pause. Now, I think this is a great time to segue into Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.
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.
Life After Life is a thinking book – one that does not allow you to read it while watching TV and carrying on a conversation. You actually have to give the story your complete attention or else it will never make sense. Life After Life is, also, the type of book you will either love or hate. It’s Groundhog Day set in the early-mid 1900’s. Ursula Todd is born. She lives a little bit. She adderall online no membership dies. Then, she gets a chance to do it all over again. While the premise is tedious at times, the story is very well done. I imagine the author effortlessly spinning multiple plates in the air all while riding a unicycle.
Ursula’s story is not linear. One minute she’s a young woman living in Germany and the next she is a child in England. The story lines pile up quickly and it becomes difficult to remember what “actually” happened versus what happened before being redone. I don’t want to ruin the book for those who have not read it, but in the end, I felt the story was more of a journey to be savored than a puzzle to be pieced together.
I found the story beautiful but, also, depressing. There were times when I almost stopped reading because I couldn’t stand the awful things happening to Ursula. I kept reading, and I think it was worth it, although I think I will need to read the book again in a year or two so that I can better understand it.
If you are looking for a mature novel to read in front of your fireplace while you sip tea and snuggle with blankets, this is the book for you.