TITLE: Life after Life
AUTHOR: Kate Atkinson
Ursula is born into a middle class family in England. The third eldest, her life is like everyone else’s except that she is forced to relive her life over and over. She is born during a winter storm, but then dies, is reborn and lives to childhood before dying again only to be reborn.
I had a hard time with this book. I got sucked in while reading the sample, it’s an intriguing concept and I really do like Kate Atkinson’s writing style. But overall I felt the story was just boring. I felt our main character, Ursula lacked depth. My friend Antonia often loves the secondary characters more than the main characters and throughout this book I felt the secondary characters were far more interesting. I wanted to know more about her siblings and their lives. The caring father, the loving mother who eventually became cold and stuffy, any one of her siblings.
What is worse is that at the end, I felt like I was missing this grand revelation that if I was just a little smarter or more in tune I would grasp. I tossed and turned all night after reading it trying to think of what the grand revelation was so that hopefully it would just click….it didn’t and I went to work the next day tired and cranky. Likewise, there were some incidents within the book that just were never cleared up or answered. And it’s not like little things where the reader can fuss about it because they are being too picky. We’re talking big plot game changers that made the mid book wordiness that I was trying to overcome actually interesting.