Title: Life After Life
Author: Kate Atkinson
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Voice Actor: Fenella Woolgar
Awards: Costa Book Award for Novel (2013), Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee (2013), Paris Review Best of the Best (2013), Walter Scott Prize Nominee (2014), Waterstones Book of the Year Nominee (2013)
Finished Reading: January 8, 2015
About: “On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, 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 any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.
Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtaking for both its audacity and its endless satisfactions.”
I snagged this baby at the same time when I thought I had PLENTY of time to do nothing else, but read. I snagged a couple magazines and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk and some other things that I just didn’t have time for. Not to say I didn’t have time for this and the Squirrel, I did them. Ok, now I feel like I’m rambling and backtracking and probably just confusing both of us. The point is, I grabbed it. It was on my to-read list and the cover is just so pretty!
Before I even talk about how awesome Woolgar is, I want to do something. Fenella Woolgar. What an awesome name. If only my name was that unique and fun. Ok, down to business. Woolgar’s interpretation was pretty spot on. I enjoyed listening to her voice. It wasn’t nasaly or boring or anything like that. Her reading seemed apt for the time period, the characters, and the over-all story.
I wrote on the various book sites I’m a part of (follow me on Leafmarks, Goodreads, and Booklikes – shameless promotion.) that I was unsure of what I wanted to say about this book. It’s not a book that is super exciting. It’s not a book that’s going to change my life forever. And I think I’m in the minority of thinking this book is the absolute best thing since sliced bread. So, here’s what I think.
This book moves dreadfully slow and it’s crazy repetitive. Since she’s dying and living over and over, the overlap is expected. There would be parts where I’d be all involved in working and then something will catch my attention – I already heard this part? Is this thing skipping?! only to find out that it’s just how the book is. If and once you get past this, you’re golden.
The writing is beautiful. The way the characters are developed and how they change in each of Ursula’s lives is brilliant. Atkinson knows her characters inside and out and I bow down to her. This is definitely all about the characters and I was all about that.
I’m still having a hard time nailing down exactly what I want to say. Maybe I’ll add comments as I think more about it…
I did this book as a Playaway and listened while I was working. Maybe that’s why I’m not as goo-goo over it as other readers. I might not have been in the proper mood for it either. I think I’m becoming more and more of a mood reader…?
2015 Reading Challenge: What does this fulfill? Well… This book is written by a female author (I am woman; hear me roar.) AND this book is by an author that I haven’t read yet. Boom! Two-in-one.
My rating and why: I gave this book three stars! I read it and it pretty all right. I think I was just distracted since I was listening while working. Maybe there’s just a certain kind of book I can listen to while working. Hmmm…
Your turn! Have you read this book? Have you read anything else by Atkinson? Are you doing the same 2015 Reading Challenge or a different one? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.
Until next time my fellow bibliophile beasties!