Life After Life

Kate Atkinson
Life After Life  Cover

Life After Life


I really liked this book -- but I wish I'd been able to say that I loved it

Life After Life is based on an intriguing premise: what if you could keep being re-born and re-living your life, fixing what went wrong the last time around, until you finally got it all right?

The novel features a number of similar, yet different, narratives in which the main character, Ursula, dies during birth, is re-born but survives this time only to die quite young, and so on -- with each timestream growing progressively longer as she avoids making past mistakes the next time around.

The author does a reasonably good job of focussing on different aspects each time through, so that the narratives are not endlessly repetitive (though the "Groundhog Day" conceit does occasionally get a little old during the 470-page novel). The protagonist has been given a subliminal awareness of what has occurred in past lives...

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