Audio books are the best :)
I enjoyed listening to this book and its take on early to mid 1900's England.
I think we all wonder what life would be like if we had a chance to live it over again and this book really captured those possible slight differences between lives without making it too unrealistic.
Overall I did feel it was a bit sad, granted 1910-1945 England had its fair share of hardships so I suppose I can't expect anything different...
Good listen, not great but good.
I am a huge Kate Atkinson fan. I love her writing, her characters and her stories. But this book, halting after faltering so many times, made me finally give up. I'm not sure the performance was as bad as the book, but I couldn't get through either.
I expected that one would come to understand why and/or how this poor woman had to keep re-living her life. That just never happened. I also expected that with each chance to do it over again she would have taken completely different paths - rather, she just made little nuanced changes to her life that still ended in her repeatedly dying. Lastly, and perhaps unrealistically, that something would occur such that she would stay dead eventually.
The sense that the book didn't end, and the author created no sense that it ever would.
Ursula's father was kind, but I loved the character of the Cook. She struck me as not a particularly good cook, and a grumpy old woman, yet there was something in her that loved this family.
Imagination - the entire time, I found myself wondering what different path I would take given multiple times to try. Although, Ursula has really bad luck, because she just keeps on running into fatality.
Despite all of this, the prose was beautifully written and the story was interesting until I realized that it would never have a satisfactory conclusion and I would be left with a sense of having not "finished" the story.
The concept behind this book is fascinating, but the upshot seems to be bleakness and futility. Making different choices just leads to different miseries. So many ways to be unhappy and to die and so many times reliving the horrors of WWII. The only good thing for those who lived through it was that it finally ended! Here it keeps coming back.
For the last third of the book I was wanting to fast forward but never knew exactly where things might change (they don't, much!). And although I spent so much time with the main character, she still seemed a bit of a blank.
The narration was excellent and the evocation of the different eras was quite good, but overall I was quite disappointed. I wonder if this would get published if it was Atkinson's first book.
In my opinion, Connie Willis' 2-part work, Blackout & All Clear, is a much superior book about both the Blitz and the effects of individuals on history.
"Listening with my other ear"
Absolutely, this is great ride.
The continuity of the lives.
The death due to the wife abuser. Anymore details will spoil the book
Almost everyone has wished at one time or another that he or she could change a time or event in history, may it be one of your own or a historical tragedy. But, this novel shows the good and bad that these changes could bring. This is not a book for everyone. You have to pay close attention to the small details. The changes in the plot always effect the reader more than the characters. I believe that Kate Atkinson is a genius. The intertwining of the lives is amazing. I found myself actually relieved after couple of times when the death occurred and a new life began.There was a few events that happened that I wish would had been more clearly explained, but I got it. And, I believe that is it, you either get it or you don't.
Make this a short story instead of a novel.
When Ursula was responding to bombings during the blitz.
This book is a slow, boring version of Groundhog Day. It takes way too long to get to the point.
Say something about yourself!
After reading the reviews I believe that this would be somewhat of an interesting book. However the books send it to be somewhat slow and in parts dull. I began to care less and less about the main character.
This book definitely does not need a follow-up. I'm pretty sure there is nothing more the character has to say.
After the first few lives I wanted the main character to really die.
Overall interesting concept but felt boring.
I liked this book a lot, as it's extremely well written and tells interesting stories about a likable character who has a wealth of interesting experiences over a lifetime beginning in 1910. But the book's structure frustrated me. Not because I got lost as one after another of Ursula Todd's many lives (and deaths) morphed into the next and time shifted accordingly, but because I expected to see more obvious connections and threads in and between her many stories, as one does in Colum McCann's "Transatlantic", the best book I've read in a while. As in "Transatlantic", where real-life characters such as Frederick Douglass and Senator George Mitchell make more-than-cameo appearances, Eva Braun and Adolph Hitler figure in an interesting story line in "Life After Life", adding to its appeal to me. Don't be put off by my three stars, which would have been 3.5 if I'd had the flexibility; try this one for yourself. Having read a number of reviews after finishing the book (the "Most Helpful" reviews currently on Amazon.com are very helpful), I realize that I probably missed many of the literary, religious and other allusions which others say lie under the surface of "Life After Life". You might not.
I don't know if I would try another book by either of them. It would have to catch my attention immediately.
Her manner was so flat, but then so was the story.
I think would have cut the very beginning, where she was born. It really got old.
I was very intrigued at the idea of this story line and thought it had so many possibilities. Unfortunately the book did not live up to my expectations.