Life after Life –Kate Atkinson

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? 

Every time Ursula Todd dies, she is born again. Each successive life is an iteration on the last, and we see how Ursula’s choices affect her, those around her, and–so boldly–the fate of the 20th-century world. Most impressive is how Kate Atkinson keeps the complexity of her postmodern plotting so nimble. Life After Life approaches the universe in both the micro- and macro sense, balancing the interior lives of Ursula’s friends and family with the weight of two World Wars. (How many writers can make domestic drama as compelling as the London Blitz?) Life After Life is an extraordinary feat of narrative ambition, an audacious genre-bender, and a work of literary genius. –Kevin Nguyen

Life After Life: A Novel

Above is the quick overview of what Life After Life is about.  That is a great question dont you think? What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?  Shoot, but what would happen to you as the person if you kept getting reborn again and again after you died? You see places, you see things that you had seen in your previous life and you either make the choice to avoid it or go along with it again and make changes along the way. What would you do to prevent yourself from being hurt again or coming back again? Is it reincarnation that Ursula was going through? I believe so. But instead of coming back as someone or something else, she just restarts her life over again, whether it be from where she died or all over again. Different instances put Ursula in positions where she might not have been born yet, or she was born and she died from a cause. As she grows up, she has events in her life that set up for the “darkness to fall” again. As Ursula makes a change in her newly reborn life, it effects other such things around her, whether it be her immediate family, herself, and even the course of the world as we know it, World War. It was interesting to see how Ursula made new decisions based on her deaths, and then going from there as far as what her next choice would be. I believe Ursula grew more and more each time she died and became wiser all the more. Her mother believed her to be a bit crazy that she knew of what was to come. The choices that Ursula made at a young age shaped the way her mother viewed her, her sister, her brother, her aunt. It was a great book to read. I was compelled, I was moved. It had me thinking of really, how would you change your life if you had multiple chances of doing it over? What would you do if you knew taking this path in life would lead to another death? What would you do if you knew what was going to happen to the world before it happened and you couldn’t do anything about it? What would you do if you had met Hitler before he was Hitler and even during and did nothing about it? What if you knew how your life would end before it even ended? All these different alternatives for living and dying. Kate Atkinson writes a very telling story that I believe we all have wondered about and want to know, what happens after life?

Great novel. I applaud her work and look forward to reading more from her.

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One thought on “Life after Life –Kate Atkinson

  1. Pingback: Summer Reading List | ricaelise

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