Kate Atkinson: Life After Life


The latest addition to my website is Kate Atkinson‘s Life After Life. This is a wonderful novel, a sort of cross between Ken Grimwood’s Replay and the film Groundhog Day. Ursula Todd is still-born, the umbilical cord strangling her. She is immediately born again and this time the umbilical cord does not strangle her. She lives a few years before drowning and then is born again. This continues to happen. Sometimes, she lives a relatively long time, others less so. On two occasions, she has more than one death occurring on the same day but each time the events leading up to that death differ. She is unaware of what is happening but does have dream-like memories of her past lives and does learn from them. It is both a very clever story but also very well-told, as Atkinson is not just interested in the clever tricks but showing how her characters develop. And, oh yes, he’s back .

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