Life After A Novel
"Life After Life" grabbed me right from the start and just didn't let go. Atkinson uses what sounds like a plot device from science fiction--a character who dies and is reborn repeatedly--but the book does not read like a science fiction/fantasy novel. The setting is an often used time in history with the bulk of the story set in WWII, but it's not exactly historical fiction either. There are elements of literary fiction too, but that alone can't describe it. "Life After Life" is an original that transcends genres to tell its own story, and its a great one. Atkinson manages to write Ursula's tale with all of the necessary repetitions in it without ever making it repetitious or letting the pace lag. The chapter lengths vary widely throughout. Sometimes Ursula's life is quite short, other times longer, and this creates a lively rhythm. The plot winds around in a Nautilus shell spiral, perfectly shaped and fascinating in its twists and turns. I particularly enjoyed when Ursula began having deja vu like memories from previous lives and began reacting sharply to seemingly innocuous events that lead to her death in previous lives. The most delightful thing about the book for me was trying to see how she origamied all the events and patterns in Ursula's lives to form the whole of the story. This is the best book I have read this year, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Kate Atkinson can apparently do anything as a writer, and I plan to keep reading her. Thanks to the publisher for my advance copy, the gushing is all my own.Get your Life After A Novel Now!