Life After Life (some very minor spoilers)

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My feelings about Life After Life by Kate Atkinson were mixed throughout, telling the story of Ursula, a girl born in 1910 who lives her life over and over again, only very vaguely aware that she’s lived her life before, some parts of the story were very grim, women really were not in a good position in the early 20th century and it made me increasingly grateful for the women who fought to change that. It’s a story about how your actions and the actions of others have consequences and the difference in particular in Ursula’s lives when she fends of an attacker as a teenager and when she doesn’t, was striking. Covering in part the First World War (Ursula’s multiple, mostly futile attempts at trying to prevent her family succumbing to Spanish Flu was frustratingly good) but mainly the Second World War, I thought the life where she was working in the air raids was particularly interesting, Atkinson does a very good job at conveying how awful the Blitz was. I liked how Atkinson structured the story, how you learn more tiny snippets of the events surrounding Ursula’s birth, each time she’s reborn and how as Ursula goes through her lives she passes people she has more direct involvement with in other lives.

For a lot of this story I thought I was going to rate this book 3 stars out of 5 but this book grows on you and the ending was particularly good and I think it’s one of those stories that will stay with me long after I’ve read it, so –

**** (out of 5)

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