Kate Atkinson manages the macro settings and the micro details with ease, from the petty sibling squabbles at Fox Corner to the camaraderie of the ARP wardens in the Blitz. Before I started reading ‘Life after Life’ I read the phrase ‘Groundhog Day’ a few times in reviews, which belittles the intricate weaving of Ursula Todd’s lives. In the way that Logan Mountstuart’s life runs parallel to the great historical moments of the last century, Ursula’s life stories are book-ended by the approach and aftermath of the First and Second World Wars. Ursula, little bear, is an engaging character we see born and die, again and again through her own personal déjà vu. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work but once I stopped worrying about it and surrendered myself to Ursula, I was transfixed.
This is another work of art, as mesmerising as her first Behind the Scenes at the Museum. It is such an ambitious novel, that I can only guess at the intricacy of the writing process and admire her for it.
If you like ‘Life After Life’, try:-
‘A God in Ruins’ by Kate Atkinson
‘The Aftermath’ by Rhidian Brook
‘The Translation of Love’ by Lynne Kutsukake
‘Life after Life’ by Kate Atkinson [UK: Black Swan]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson #bookreview via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-jw