East Markham Book Club
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves

"Truly brilliant... Think of Audrey Niffenegger's The TimeTraveler's Wife or David Nicholl's One Day...[or] Martin Amis's Times Arrow, his rewinding of the Holocaust that was shortlisted for the Booker. Life After Life should have the popular success of the former and deserves to win prizes, too. It has that kind of thrill to it, of an already much-loved novelist taking a leap, and breaking through to the next level...This is a rare book that you want, Ursula-like, to start again the minute you have finished." (Helen Rumbelow The Times).

Next Meeting Sunday 5th February 2017 at 7.30pm

Club Opinion
Our chosen book of the month was met with a range of differing opinions. 'Dazzling' it was not, instead rather leaving the group confused and disappointed with the many paths Ursula takes in her recurring life. The group questioned the reasoning of the many lives Ursula led, when there appeared to be no real changes in the outcome to improve on her experiences. The setting of the book, particularly the 'Blitz' in London was of interest and the writers detail of that historical moment was both gripping and fascinating. A time in the story of this book we all agreed was the most interesting. The general consensus was given that the book, although well written, was bitty in story line, confusing in structure and disappointing in ending. Overall I think the author herself has proved a competent storyteller with an intriguing new take on structure, but perhaps one that left the reader asking for more. If you enjoyed the book then you may be interested in Kate Atkinsons recent release 'God in Ruins' which follows the story of Ursula's younger brother Teddy.

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