Last post I left you with a tease, which was a pretty ballsy thing to do, considering I’ve been a no-show around here for weeks and weeks!
So now, let’s talk about Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.
I first heard about this book getting my daily gossip fix on laineygossip.com. Lainey had read it and it stayed with her; she couldn’t get it out of her head. So she posted about it and the premise was so intriguing that I put it on my list.
Then I kept seeing it everywhere. And it became a Chatelaine Book Club pick.
My stumbling block? Only available in hardcover thus far.
Clearly I got over that.
The idea is thus: what would happen if you could live your life over and over again? If every time you died, you got to do it again and change things? Would you do things differently? Would the world around you be different?
It’s an insanely inventive literary device, allowing Atkinson to tell multiple stories at one time. Initially it’s actually kind of a strange thing to get used to. The midwife is stuck in a snowstorm but the baby arrives with the cord around it’s neck, the baby dies. The doctor is able to make it, the cord is stuck around the neck but the baby lives.
The same baby is 4 and playing on the beach, jumping into the waves. She ventures too far and she drowns.
She’s playing on the beach, jumping into the waves but a painter painting the landscape sees it happen and pulls her out.
I promise I’m not ruining it for you.
This story was incredible. Some of the turns it takes are tragic, others are uplifting, still others are humorous. Eva Braun and Hitler make appearances. I became obsessed with the name Ursula. I’m told I can never name my daughter that because it still makes everyone think of the witch in The Little Mermaid. But if everyone would just read this book instead, maybe we could change that???
My one regret is that I didn’t suggest this as a book club read. This would have been a good one to talk about with other people.
Have you read it yet? Can we talk about it?