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.
"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!
"Interesting & enjoyable"
I ready this earlier in the year but fancied it as an audiobook as well.
It's an interesting idea that is well developed, though the middle section of the book is by far my favourite and I have to admit to finding the ending a bit lacklustre. Overall a good read and well narrated.
"Best narrated audiobook I've listened to so far!"
Really a delight to listen to. Very well narrated and acted, and an enjoyable story too. Historical fiction and fantasy.
"Superb in every sense"
A simply brilliant work superbly narrated by Fenella Woolgar. Rare to combine a literary novel with such clever and intricate narrative. Holds the listener to the end.
A compelling listen in the 'historical' style the author does so well. Left wanting more.
"Life after life"
There is something here we should know.
Will listen many times.
Maybe I will know it if time allows
"Very clever good listen"
Slow starter to begin with but well worth listening on. Very clever and a good listen.
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