by Kate Atkinson
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.
Every once in awhile, there is a book that grabs onto you and gives you...feelings. Like, honest to goodness emotions that make you fall in love with the main character. That is what I felt with Life After Life. Ursula Todd is born to die...over and over again. Each life she lives leads her down a different path - she loses and gains people - loses and gains herself. Imagine Groundhog Day with far more serious consequences. And Hitler.
It was difficult for me to push through the first set of chapters because it can feel repetitive. Once I hit a chunk of story, however, it was impossible to put down. I came to fall in love with Ursula no matter what life she lived in. She is a fantastic protagonist in that she shows, not only intelligence, but strength. She goes through so much in this book that one cannot help but feel she is cursed.
I don't want to say too much because this book is an experience. It's a tough book to get through - but I whole-heartedly recommend it.