What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can - will she?
Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original - this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.
©2011 Kate Atkinson (P)2013 Hachette Audio
I just did not like this story at all. It had such potential for me, and just fell short. But I'm not sure how valid my opinion is.... I hated the movie Groundhog's Dog! That's pretty much what this story is, the same thing over and over. If there had just been a few less long drawn out birth scenes, I think it would have at least been a little better. Would never recommend this and would sooner poke out my eyes than read it again.
At the start I had a difficult time following the story, but a quarter of the way through I was hooked. This is the first novel I have read that made me stop and reflect on my own life's what-ifs. I liked the portions of Ursula' s life that described her role in the war. Good perspective from a woman's view.
I found that this book, while well written, had me confused a lot of the time since it is not in any sort of chronological order. I enjoyed the stories and the ending, but it was not my favorite audiobook.
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.
By listening to a book while I walk the dog or cook,I can be enjoying two books at once!
I love a book that jumps around a timeline, but I found this thoroughly confusing for the first few chapters. After I got the hang of it, it was better, but I think my brain would have followed the timeline better in writing!
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.
I still don't know I how I feel about this book. It took me forever to finish, because I could not get invested in the story for the first several hours. If you can make it through the first 10 hrs of audio, the story does begin to pick up. I am, however, tempted to listen to the book again or read the print version, because I am sure there are things I missed that would maybe help explain the story better. Or maybe not. Maybe there is no answer, but I do feel like I can know listen to A God in Ruins which has gotten more positive reviews, but of course I had to listen to the original before I could read the sequel.
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.
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