Life After Life

  • by Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by Fenella Woolgar
  • 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can - will she?
Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original - this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Strange & Fascinating

I am shocked by how much I ended up enjoying this book. It took about 10 hours--really about two thirds of the way through the story--before I was won over and caught up in it all. I was absolutely determined to finish the book and not give up. I will also admit that I was completely disappointed and confused up until this 10 hour point in the story. I have to stress that when other positive reviewers caution that you need to stick with the book and give it time--they mean it. I join them in this warning. This book takes lots of patience. The listener needs to keep an open mind and pay attention. To me, in the end, it was more than worth it. I grew to love the characters. I loved the exploration of concepts of time, war, and the impact of personal choice.

All that said, the story does require the willingness on the part of the listener to suspend disbelief. Also, be aware that the writing has a dark side and at times can be very dour. The experience of the horrors of the Blitzkrieg or "lightening war" waged on the United Kingdom during WWII--in all its gruesome detail is difficult listening.

I already have the next book in my library and unlike other reviews I do think that there is more to say with this story. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Recommended if you are willing to give the story time to unfold. A captivating listen.
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- Sara

Exhilarating, breathtaking book

I could not put this fascinating book down. I was breathless when I came to the end of it. I quickly downloaded the companion novel, A God in Ruins, and was moved to tears by it as well.

I'm now going back to listen to this novel again, something I never do so soon after the first reading. There is so much technique and so much heart, I need to experience it again.
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- Kareol

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-02-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio