Big Book Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life (Todd Family, #1)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? (Goodreads)

I am not a fan of war books. I don’t read historical fictions that take place in either of the World Wars. If the war isn’t taking place in a fantasy world or in space, I’m usually not interested. However, this book had me stopping everything and turning the pages as fast as I possibly could. We follow Ursula from her birth and throughout her whole life in alternate timelines. Ursula dies over and over again and restarts her life with minor changes to situations that tend to extend her life. Kate Atkinson took me on a ride and I was here for it. With the restarting of different timelines this book could have easily become repetitive but in Atkinson’s skillful hands I never once was bored. There was even a part that I cried, like real tears, because I cared so deeply for the characters. The family dynamic was so realistic and at time hilarious.

What I found so interesting about this story was all the experiences that Ursula felt throughout her life and how she was somewhat aware of what was happening but it felt more like deja vu as opposed to being fully aware that she had been in this situation before.

I will say in the beginning things were a tad bit confusing for me and I had to really pay attention to the dates to know what point of Ursula’s life we were currently looking at.  This book begs to be read without any other books on the go and in large chunks. I’m not someone who does this often because I am a multi-book reader, but once I focused all my energies on this book I could not put it down.

Was it worth it? Absolutely YES! I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a literary fiction book that is a good balance of character focus and major historical events. This book is well worth your time and I want to read the sequel as soon as possible.

Have you read this book? Are you interested in reading? Let’s chat in the comments.

Much Love,

Tasha

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