Redundant, boring, pointless. I kept on trying to like this book but finally I had to give up. Others may like it but it was not my cup of tea.
Avid reader. Retired harpist Consider myself knowledgeable in the English language.
Way too hard to follow. What is real, what isn't? Too confusing for my addled brain.
The book feels like a literary exercise that has gone on way too long. The same material is gone over from different angles again and again, but not a lot of insight is gained from the repetition. I kept hoping for the format or the story to yield something worth the wait by the end, but it never arrived. If you want good contemporary literary writing by a British woman, read H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald, or Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. If you want interesting time travel writing set in WWII by a British woman, read Blackout by Connie Willis.
I'm not even sure how to review this book. As far as the narrator, it was fantastic. I was very interested until the halfway point, where it seemed to drag on and on. I held hope that something would grab and pull it all together. That never happened. The premise was so intriguing and I feel this book could have been so much more.
Recently retired Spanish teacher
I felt it was about 2 hours too long.
Historically grabbed my attention about the Nazi era but too long
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
Overall this book was disappointing. It got such rave reviews, for the most part. However, as a friend said, you either love it or hate it. Well, I didn’t actually hate it because I find it intriguing to think of the questions and issues that the book brings up : What if we could start over again? or What if one important moment in history were changed? How would that change the world? Is there such a thing as reincarnation?
However, the book becomes confusing in it’s starts and stops. I just had to let that go, and in the end it does seem to hang together well enough that I got the threads of the plot that does continue even throughout all of Ursula’s “reincarnations.” Also, there are so many reiterations of her life that it just gets WAY too long. I was waiting for it to be over most of the time. That’s a bad sign in a book, of course ☺
I find it confusing, and I want to understand if Ursula was meant to finally KNOW about all her reincarnated lives and thus CHOOSE to start another one, as in the ending of the book? OR is she just vaguely aware of her “premonitions” and “déjà vu” feelings and that is as far as it goes? I’m leaning toward thinking that she DOES know and uses this knowledge as power to hopefully change the world.
Also, there is a bit about Sylvie, Ursula’s mother, meeting in London with another man, not her father. Then that detail is NEVER mentioned again. I think this is a flaw in the book. I have read that in Atkinson’s next book, this incident is expanded upon, and we find out what is going on with that incident. One shouldn’t have to read the NEXT book to find an answer if this book is supposed to be a self-contained novel!