Life After Life ~ Kate Atkinson

Date Completed (9/12/2015)

Rating: 5.5/10

A fairly popular book, this story intrigued me. I initially picked it up because of it’s cover, and checked it out from the library without so much as reading the inside cover.  I was not so much a fan of her writing style as I was the story she wrote and the way she puzzled this story together.

To say anything about this book is to give something away, yet I’m not really sure what the reality of this story was. Ursula, a girl born in England in 1910, lives her life over and over again, making a different mistake leading to her death each time. When she lives long enough, she lives through both World Wars, making this book an interesting perspective on historical fiction.

This book also reminded me of Abed’s (Community) references to different timelines, also known as the Remedial Chaos Theory. It caused me to wonder about my own life, and the different possibilities that arise as a result of our choices in life. It’s an interesting theory, often wondered about by many of us, although we do not often think about it so explicitly. I think it is even more common for us to regret being “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” or what life might have looked like if we were “in the right place at the right time.”

The soft ending of this book (SPOILER ALERT) where she shoots Hitler was predictable; the hard ending was perhaps redundant. Another redundancy was her alliterative final sentence (Darkness fell; Darkness fell again; etc.) for each time Ursula dies. Atkinson, too, seems to be aware of how annoying this sentence gets, as she continuously changes it up, including on 113, “Darkness, and so on.” The setup of the chapters also references things that have come before, and repetition, as many of the titles are repeated.

Atkinson grew up in England. She’s now written ten novels.

All in all, an okay book. Interesting premise. Fast read.


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