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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Kate Atkinson - Life after life

review by showhost
A Costa Novel Award winner 2013.....
Well I got to page 400 before giving up and I don't think I would have got that far if a friend hadn't told me about the basis of the plot beforehand.
Let me just say though the writing is very good and the detail of the period/s is very precise which is why I kept with it for as long as I did.  I am a fan of KA, especially the Brodie novels BUT by page 400 I couldn't stand to go through another scenario again.
"What if you had the chance to live your life again & again until you finally got it right?" - well this book is based on those scenarios.
1910 - stowstorm in England, a baby is born with cord around its neck & dies.  We go back with same scenario except the doctor arrives in time to cut the cord - baby lives.
1915 - children playing by beach, child drowns.  Re-run that scene but child is saved by someone who happens to be passing.  Then comes the war
1918 Armistice - various scenarios - then 1947 and peace.
then 1930's & 40's.  Another war, lots of scenarios.  Back to 1910 for a quick reminder and once into 1967.
The main character is Ursula through all these decades and scenarios, along with her family and friends.
Who is very likeable.

It was a clever idea and how many of us must have wondered what would have happened if only we had taken another path in life or done something sooner to avoid the crisis but  I really couldn't read another repeat of the family, by page 400, it was becoming tedious.
Sorry but I would have been one of the minority who would have given it 3 out of 5 stars.

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