A day like any other for security chief Tracy Waterhouse - until she makes a purchase she hadn’t bargained for. One moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy’s humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn.
Witnesses to Tracy’s Faustian exchange in the Merrion Centre in Leeds are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie who has returned to his home county in search of someone else’s roots. All three characters learn that the past is never history and that no good deed goes unpunished.
©2010 Kate Atkinson (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
“An intensely fascinating study into the effects of time and the constant battle between right and wrong.” (The List)
Started well, I had high hopes for the well drawn characters. But it seemed to peter out and the end left me feeling the opportunity for a really great story had been lost. A pleasant enough way to spend a few hours, but a great experience, it aint.
Having been tempted by the foreknowledge that the Brodie novels had been the basis for a reasonable TV series, I felt it was safe to try this novel. Not so! No wonder they were unable or unwilling to make this novel the next contender. It is tedious to the extreme with such a mess of story lines as to be incomprehensible and part way through one is left utterly not caring. When I glanced up and saw there was still 7 hours to go, I gave up. The relief was immediate. What a jumbled, grey, damp morass of non events. I shudder to think of the time wasted.
Why jumble together a book about, " my rambles through the Abbeys of England" with, " my terrible divorce and the sordid aftermath" and " child abduction without preamble" and " ugly musings by an old man" in what might have been a detective novel?
A man less earnest. His attempts at colouring the reading only served to highlight just how bleak and empty the prose is.
Any scene with the ludicrous VoiceOver of "Julia" irritating any sense of a story moving forward, all the contrived scenes of drunken divorced middle age man, all the unrealistic imaginings of how a scene might play out in the memory of an unreliable narrator..the list is endless.
"Life After Life" often meandered near the same cliff edge that this novel plunged over from the start.
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