What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here is Kate Atkinson at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.
©2013 Kate Atkinson (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks
The trick to this book is to stay with it. It is 1910 and snow is falling and life starts. And starts again.Kate Atkinson is simply one of the finest writers today. This book is a literary wonder - earthed by beautiful characters and a solid English country home - and yet delving into the questions of life and time and choice. World War Two vividly evoked. Ethereal and captivating. Don't miss it.
It's such a creative story! The characters were so easy to attach to and the reader has such talent for telling the story, not just reading.
It's such a creative story. I can't compare it to anything because I've never read/listened to another story quite like it.
I had not listened to Fenella before but her voice is so fantastic for audio books that I will definately be looking out for more of her books.
This is a hard one. I'm tossing up between Ursula and Izzy. Izzy would be highly entertaining, but Ursula would the character I would be most interested in chatting to.
Thank you to the author for such an entertaining story.
Yes. A really interesting story line with great characters. Sort of like a choose your own adventure where you can go back and find a better ending, except the author is choosing the new story lines her self, time and time again.
The book thief or The time traveller's wife for its unconventional story line
I read comments about how jumpy the story line was and that put me off a little bit. But you soon get used to it and I actually started looking forward to the story line jumping back in time again. A great novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Every moment described in beautiful detail by Kate Atkinson becomes memorable. I am literally IN the rooms, the gardens, the wars and the hearts of the characters. The story is compelling, funny, poignant and mesmerising.
The novel involves the retelling of stories multiple times so this is tricky to answer. The whole novel, with it's changing and retelling of scenes and the switching of time and place is just overall, fabulously, deliciously enchanting.
I cannot imagine this story without the voice of the superb narrator. I loved her portrayal of the various characters and accents, but she does a particularly wonderful job of creating believable voices for the children. The author is fabulous but the narrator is simply divine
I really wanted to like this because I love everything else Kate Atkinson has written. So I kept trying and re-trying to slog through it. But it is so, so boring. The characters are bland, the setting is bland and every time her life started again, I groaned because I knew there was just more blandness coming. Really disappointed
The most powerful message was the horrors of civilian suffering . How DARE allies and Germans alike so relentlessly bomb each other's defenceless citizens
Did it meet your expectations?
It exceeded them. Having never read Kate Atkinson before, this book was like discovering a new favourite ice cream flavour, or piece of music- joyful and wonderful.
What was the most memorable moments?
Hard to choose just one, but some of the moments that Ursula recounts from during the war, when she volunteers to help with the bombing clear up were harrowing and totally gripping
The ending was good too.
How was the narrators?
One of the best that I've heard on Audible thus far. I love her and could listen to her all day and never tire.
"Listened to this twice"
Wonderful book! Moving, thought-provoking and original. It's just my sort of novel. I highly recommend it.
"Very engaging performance."
I read this book about a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I found the ending unsatisfying. The performance of this narrator was excellent and it was very pleasurable to listen. I think the book makes more sense the second time through, and listening to it really brings it alive.
The central character is very likeable, and all the characters are believable and have depth. The way the story explores different paths through life, what might have happened had something quite trivial been done differently or different decisions been taken, is fascinating. The social history is also very well done - informative without being didactic.
It has to be Ursula, although Izzy came a close second.
"Challenging and deeply sattisfying"
An excellent book! The first Kate Atkinson I've really enjoyed since Human Croquet, although this is deeper and much more complicated.
I found the publisher's blurb "What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?" to be unhelpful, though. The story told is not about this but is the well-written details of Ursula's various probable lives, each changed minutely or wholly by her own unknowing choices - or (sometimes) the choices of others.
This is a challenging read and although the first half, dealing with Ursula's various childhoods, were very enjoyable and I was completely gripped by it, the second half, covering Ursula's violent and difficult marriage, or in another life, her work as an ARP during WW2 where nothing - especially dead bodies and bombs - is glossed over and yet another where she starves with her child in Germany at the end of WW2.
There appears to be no overall story to this book, no getting it "right" and no ultimate end.
It was a wonderful read, exceedingly well-written and beautifully narrated.
I look forward to seeing this novel as a contender for some high-profile prizes in 2013.
"What a waste, Kate."
So disappointing - I was so excited to download a new Kate Atkinson novel but this book was not the treat I was expecting. The story was so boring and, with the full intention of the author, extremely repetitive. The book had none of Kate's intricate and exciting plots that unravel and all makes sense in the end. If I hadn't been listening to it with someone else bothering to read it to me, I would never have finished reading it. Come on Kate, you can do better!
"Really interesting story"
This book is different , in a good way. Descriptions of Blitz especiallymemorable. Narration excellent
I'm late to the party here but am so glad I discovered this book. Beautifully written and the narration was perfect, which makes all the difference
"amazing book!!!!! excellent reading as well."
fantastic narrative... learnt a lot about history as well. beautifully written. miss the characters already as if met them in reality... :)
This is such a great book, follows the life of a girl spanning her lifetime a number of times over. A book that you may need to concentrate on slightly more than others to follow exactly where she is & when it is. Heartbreaking in places. Amazingly clever how details of each life links to the next, you could miss some of all the many minute details that link each life together. The reader initially I thought had a "rather toffee posh" voice but it really does suit the book, well read and the characters accents are well done too. Such a thought provoking book, couldn't stop listening had to listen in the car on the way to work. It is, perhaps, the definition of Deja vu!
"All over the place"
It was slow with characters I just didn't care about. I really wanted to like it because so many of my friends reccomended it.
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