1. Life After Life kindle fireTo download now please click the link below.http://amzn.to/124iqUPOverviewOn a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of awealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw herfirst breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out alusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For asshe grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history(and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than thefate of civilization.Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at herabsolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtakingfor both its audacity and its endless satisfactions.ReviewsIm pretty sure the idea of being forced to live my life over and over again issomething plucked from my worst nightmares, but who among us hasnt been atleast tempted to dream of it occasionally with a wistful sigh. Please, please,please, just one more chance to live the best moments again and whennecessary, to make different choices? But I would imagine if any of us wereactually tasked to unravel all the "right" and "wrong" choices from our life and torelive the bad with the good, wed go screaming into the night like ravingbanshees.For what is a perfect life? How many kicks at the can would it take for you toanswer that question, if it is indeed answerable at all? Change one thing, changeeverything, change nothing, change all the good, change all the bad. Round andround and round. Its exhausting just thinking about it. Whats the saying? If Ionly knew then, what I know now...what? What would you do different? Andwould different choices always translate into better choices?
2. Ursula is a normal British girl except shes pretty certain shes lived her lifebefore, maybe many, many times. The older she gets, the stronger thesefeelings of deju vu become, hounding her like ghosts in the night. Her prescienceis rarely crystal clear, more like moods or instinct. Do this. Dont do that. Runaway. Run toward. Stay still.Life After Life starts slow and unassuming. The story is teasing, the pacing adawdling, scenic walk through the English countryside. But from the very firstpage I was enthralled and little did I realize what a powerful spell Atkinson wascasting on my reader brain. Because as you continue to read, the book picks upgravity and speed and texture. Each life after life reinforces the tender bondsyou have been working on with each of the characters. Your acquaintance withthem is not one brief life, but many, many lives. Like Ursula we are both cursedand blessed with the long view, the big picture. We come to know all the variouspermutations of death, cruelty, love and loss. We bear witness through twoWorld Wars and how some forces, no matter how forewarned, are unstoppable,greater even than the hand of time.This is a very English story, and is steeped in pre-1950 historical detail. Not everhaving watched an episode of Downton Abbey Ill go out on a limb here andsuggest fans of that show will love this novel for its acute sense of time andattention to detail. Atkinson is ruthless in her pursuit for authenticity. This iswartime England, no time to pussyfoot around. This has got to be right, and inher quest I believe she succeeds magnificently. The details are small butglorious, and paint such an intimate portrait you will feel absorbed into Ursulasquiet family life where there are disagreements and births, and jealousies andforgiveness. Yes, there is the rumble of the earth as the German bombs fallduring the Blitz, but such terrible moments co-exist with the stark ordinarinessof a life lived. Dinners, and picnics, and birthdays and games of cricket, andwork, and gardening, and lots and lots of tea."Ow!" one of the evacuees squealed beneath the table. "Some bugger justkicked me."...Something cold and wet nosed itself up Ursulas skirt. She hopedvery much that it was the nose of one of the dogs and not one of the evacuees.This knowledge of the ATS girls background seemed to particularly infuriateEdwina, who was gripping the butter knife in her hand as if she were planning toattack someone with it--Maurice or the ATS girl, or anyone within stabbingdistance by the look of it. Ursula wondered how much harm a butter knife coulddo. Enough she supposed.
3. There is whimsy and humor laced throughout this novel and it makes for abeautiful contrast to the more serious components of tragedy and war. Life is afarce after all; if you cant find the humor in it youve been doing it wrong orhave missed the point entirely. Atkinson has not missed the point. As readers,we are in capable hands. She has one helluva story to tell you, and trust me,you dont want to miss it.“What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get itright? Wouldnt that be wonderful?”Would it?I believe everyone would love a chance to go back and change things in theirpast. Correct mistakes in order to change their life or their loved ones lives forthe better. But changing one thing may only lead to a new problem……then youhave to go back, change the first mistake, then the second one, and so on. Idon’t know about you, but this sounds exhausting to me.Ursula gets the chance to get it ‘right’ over and over again. She is born on asnowy night in February 1910, but since she is born with no doctor present, andwith the umbilical cord around her neck she never breaths a breath. Ursula isborn on a snowy night in February 1910; the doctor makes it in time to save thelittle girl from nearly straggling on her own umbilical cord. Through it all, Ursulalives many lives and dies many deaths. Each time she is reborn in the same life,same date, same circumstances but each time she has a certain amount of recallfrom former times around and she is able to make choices to avoidcatastrophe….but new catastrophes, and new deaths, always crop up and theyneed a fixing the next time around.Every time she made the right decision and avoided some horrible fate it I wouldbe so happy and I’d hope that maybe this time would be the last time for Ursula,that she would finally get to rest (even though I didn’t want the book to end),but no, there was always the snow.This book is just beautiful. Painstakingly researched and sublimely written, LifeAfter Life has found a place on my Favorites shelf. Kate Atkinson wrote about lifein WWII England and in WWII Germany in such a human way that I don’t believeI ever really felt, or understood, what it was truly like until I read this book.What it was like to live with the threat of being bombed every single night,
4. horrifying. Or what it was like to live under the rule of a crazy man, loving himand worshiping him as the savior of your country only to realize, too late, whohe really was.I love this book and this quote that I hate to admit hits a little too close tohome.“Ursula craved solitude but she hated loneliness, a conundrum that she couldn’teven begin to solve.”The snake devouring its tail is an ancient symbol of wholeness, infinity, renewal,and eternal return. It symbolizes the cyclic nature of the universe, creation outof destruction, life after death. Likewise, the famous Swiss psychologist, CarlJung, advanced the concept of the Shadow self, the parts of your self that arehidden from society. The process of becoming whole, psychically, is to integratethe unconscious (Shadow) and conscious selves, through deep meditation,dreams, or long journeys that build awareness.If this seems too much of an academic introduction to the brilliantly epochalnovel by Kate Atkinson, it is also a reference to the finely calibrated structureand themes of life...after life. Atkinson time travels her narrative back to Feb 11,1910, repeatedly, so that her protagonist, Ursula Todd, can return again andagain to rebirth and renewal. Right from the beginning, Ursula dies quickly afterbirth. Then she returns. Dies rather quickly again. In subsequent lives, she maytake longer to die. But through each of these lives, we learn a lot more aboutUrsula. And, so does Ursula learn more about herself. For example, after atragedy in one life, Ursula tends to feel a sense of something, or a chill, whenthe tragedy is coming close in the next life, and can often do something toprevent its reocurrence, even though she is not quite sure why she is doing it.Atkinson did it with such holographic clarity that I wondered how it had not beendone a thousand times before in literature. If I searched for similarly structuredmovies, however, GROUNDHOG DAY and BUTTERFLY EFFECT would come tomind as cousins, perhaps.There is certainly a purpose to this structure, but it isnt mechanical orexpeditious. You may be scratching your head, wondering as you read, but youwill settle in before long. The novel is so dynamic, and initially winsome (andsubtly tongue-in-cheek), that you feel in the bosom of it, not at arms length or
5. outside the story. Is it a gimmick? No, it is the anchor. It doesnt seemsegmented or choppy; rather, it all integrates, like Jungs concept.Ursulas darkness penetrates to a metaphysical undertaking, and the reader isside by side with her odyssey. The author captures Ursulas moments of life-to-death-to-life enchantingly, yet poignantly, and the cycles nourish the theme ofthe story. Those in-between moments of life and death pique readerunderstanding, too. Her frequent returns dont feel repetitive, because Atkinsonbrings acuity and new observations for the reader to ponder."...she could feel the shining, luminous world beyond calling, the place where allmysteries would be revealed. The darkness enveloped her, a velvet friend. Snowwas in the air, as fine as talcum, as icy as the east wind on a babys skin..."The author also weaves in penetrating allusions to the unconscious mind withinthe chaos, destruction and detritus of war. The settings(s) of the novel presidelike a primary character, one in which repeated experience manifests deeperunderstanding. Like Ursula, I am inclined to return, time and again, and let thepages encircle me into the "black bat of darkness" and the snow blazing white ofday."Time isnt circular. Its like a...palimpsest."To download now please click the link below.http://amzn.to/124iqUP
6. outside the story. Is it a gimmick? No, it is the anchor. It doesnt seemsegmented or choppy; rather, it all integrates, like Jungs concept.Ursulas darkness penetrates to a metaphysical undertaking, and the reader isside by side with her odyssey. The author captures Ursulas moments of life-to-death-to-life enchantingly, yet poignantly, and the cycles nourish the theme ofthe story. Those in-between moments of life and death pique readerunderstanding, too. Her frequent returns dont feel repetitive, because Atkinsonbrings acuity and new observations for the reader to ponder."...she could feel the shining, luminous world beyond calling, the place where allmysteries would be revealed. The darkness enveloped her, a velvet friend. Snowwas in the air, as fine as talcum, as icy as the east wind on a babys skin..."The author also weaves in penetrating allusions to the unconscious mind withinthe chaos, destruction and detritus of war. The settings(s) of the novel presidelike a primary character, one in which repeated experience manifests deeperunderstanding. Like Ursula, I am inclined to return, time and again, and let thepages encircle me into the "black bat of darkness" and the snow blazing white ofday."Time isnt circular. Its like a...palimpsest."To download now please click the link below.http://amzn.to/124iqUP