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"He had been reconciled to death during the war and then suddenly the war was over and there was a next day and a next day. Part of him never adjusted to having a future."
Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again.
A God in Ruins tells the dramatic story of the 20th century through Ursula's beloved younger brother, Teddy - would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.
An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times, A God in Ruins proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Janna Wong Healy on 10-27-15
FRUSTRATING BUT GOOD
Full disclosure: I am not a diehard Kate Atkinson fan. I've read some of her past works and they just doesn't engage me like they do other readers. That said, I did like the setting and main character of this latest story. Teddy is a wonderful man, a hero in my mind, and someone I would love to sit and a chat with. He is almost the same age as my father, who also flew bombing raids (to Japan, not Europe) and I saw similarities in their behavior when they returned home from the war.
If only the entire novel were about Teddy but instead, we are treated to a storyline involving Viola, the obnoxious and awful daughter of Teddy and his wife Nancy. She is thoroughly unlikable and I hated spending so much time in her company when I could have been spending it with Teddy instead.
The story winds through many decades and ends in a satisfactory manner for most of the characters. But, it was a long road.
The narrator, Alex Jennings, did a wonderful job of capturing the energy and voices of so many of the characters.
31 of 34 people found this review helpful
By Sara on 02-16-16
Mysterious Past--Mysterious Future
A completely compelling follow up/companion piece to Atkinson's Life After Life. I don't want to risk spoiling the story so I won't ramble on here. My only suggestion is to read both books in order and don't leave too long between the listens. I disagree with the publisher in that A God in Ruins, to me, is not a free standing novel--it absolutely needs Life After Life. Atkinson does not disappoint. A beautiful book. I loved it.
52 of 58 people found this review helpful