Review: Life After Life | My Favorite Book of 2013

Easily my favorite book of the year. Author Kate Atkinson applies her masterful command of the written word to a twisting and turning narrative that’s riveting right from the start, captivating in concept, devastating at points, and thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. In 1910, on a treacherous night during a snowstorm in England, Ursula Todd is born, her life quickly snuffed out before it begins. Throughout the rest of the nearly 500 pages, Ursula’s story goes back to that night and begins again, and with each do-over, her life takes a slightly different path, extending to a new turning point, before once again, “darkness falls.”

With this clever conceit, Atkinson constructs a narrative puzzle that’s as entertaining as it is intriguing. The setting, the period, the memorable characters, the humor, the anguish, and the complex, intertwining stories of the lives of Ursula–I loved it all and couldn’t put the book down until the end. Or, should I say, another beginning. Thought provoking and demanding of a good discussion.

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