Life After Life
By Kate Atkinson
Why this book?
Although it starts with a teasing prologue in which the main character, Ursula, prepares to shoot Hitler in a Munich coffee shop in 1930, this novel then goes back to Ursula's birth, or rather her stillbirth, on a snowy night when the midwife fails to reach her mother in time. The narrative continues through a series of dark moments and silly accidents of the kind that most children survive, but some don't. Yet Ursula does both: life after life, in other words. This might sound experimental and complicated, but in Atkinson's hands, it becomes a deeply involving saga of life, love, and war in the first half of the last century told with a brilliantly alternate twist.
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