Life After Life

A Novel

Atkinson, Kate

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Life After Life
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. -- Provided by publisher.

Publisher: New York :, Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company,, 2013.
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 0316176486
Characteristics: xi, 529 pages ;,25 cm


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Mar 24, 2015
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Atkinson's superior writing propels this circular novel that repeats snippets of the protagonist's life, each iteration bringing small changes that may or may not have enormous consequences. The concept itself would be a conceit in the hands of many authors, but Atkinson is one of our best and pulls it off splendidly.

Jan 08, 2015
  • carolynlindstrom rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting concept. She dies, then she doesn't die and what happens... fun. My book club selection for 2015.

Jan 03, 2015
  • Pisinga rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Perhaps the lack of chronology in the composition was intended. But still, it creates a certain confusion.
And the title of the book, in my opinion, should be different. It is a bit like a book about spirits.
Overall - a very good book.

Jan 01, 2015
  • AlysonTheArtist rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Impressive piece of writing... loved the twists and turns. Couldn't put it down! 5 stars

Jan 01, 2015
  • lmm789 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Groundhog Day this time with compelling English characters undergoing the usual tests and travesties during the war years. A masterwork, in my view - much better than its predecessors.

Dec 03, 2014
  • empbee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Hard to get into it but once you did you can't put it down. Excellent writing. Innovative construction.

Nov 25, 2014
  • occy rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I did try to get into it, but threw in the towel 1/4 of the way into the novel. Not my cup of tea !!!

Aug 30, 2014
  • DeborahGD rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in not enjoying this book. I found it very annoying that the author just abandons one narrative and starts another. I didn't bother finishing it. It felt like a complete waste of time.

Aug 30, 2014
  • ivych99 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Well I tried to finish it but it jut got so boring and a bit confusing half way through it, so I lost intrest.
The begingings were interesting, how she died and came back and how she got dejavu for doing it over so many times. That was something new.
Maybe in the future I would pick it up again and try to finish where I left off. Maybe.

Aug 25, 2014
  • 7mary7 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Another Ground Hog Day?

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Jul 08, 2014
  • debwalker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fur sie, fuhrer.

Oct 28, 2013

"Darkness fell."

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."

Jun 10, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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


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Sep 09, 2014
  • cindyhib rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

ery Confusing!!!!

Mar 10, 2014
  • dkilrain rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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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Mar 10, 2014
  • dkilrain rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

dkilrain thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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