Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

While I was on holiday (to Madeira, it was lovely), I read Life After Life. It is something that has been on my 'to-read' list for a while and when my English Literature teacher set us a reading list for summer and this was on there I knew I had to read it. The story follows Ursula Todd as she lives, and dies multiple times, but then is reincarnated unbeknownst to her and she experiences a feeling of de-ja-vu which warns her how to avoid this mistake again.

For the first 100 pages or so I was very very confused. The general rule is that with every rewind of Ursula's life, things get better. This is also helpful for the reader because it means that you can almost pick and choose the ending that you like best, for me the ending was definitely the one I preferred.

It also conveys a message of how your path of life may be dramatically changed if you hadn't bumped into that man on the street who then became your husband. Or perhaps all the ways you narrowly avoided death. I found this to be an idea that stuck with me after the book, it makes you wonder how everyday actions affect your future which is very worrying but also in some ways very exciting!

After I had got to terms with the structure of the story, and also noted what the different dates meant such as Ursula's birth on 11th February 1910, it was a very gripping read and I could hardly put it down. I know reading time on holiday is not proportionate to reading time at home, but I read this 600 page book in probably 4 days because it was just that good.

I would love to read more of Kate's work because, if I hadn't seen the publish date, I would have assumed it was an acclaimed classic. She has written it with so much care and technique that it could sit amongst the works of Austen or Du Maurier. She is definitely one of the best authors I have ever read. I would recommend this book to lovers of Literature, it is quite challenging and definitely not a light read but it is worth your time!

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