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Synopsis

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she?

Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.

Book Reviews

Life After Life
Average rating
3.9 / 5
Meh
April 3rd, 2014
It was ok...
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1 review
February 16th, 2014
I am a big fan of Kate Atkinson's books particularly the Jackson Brodie series. I enjoy her gentle humour and ironic view of life. This was quite a different book, with an interesting premise - what if things had been different; how might our lives end up? - It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the story, with its repeating, unfolding narrative, but I enjoyed it in the end.
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1 review
February 3rd, 2014
Touching, true to life story. Inventive writing.
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1 review
February 1st, 2014
I loved this book. Never had the chance to read any of Kate Atkinson's other books but the premise caught my attention right away and I was not disappointed at all. This book stuck with me to the point that I was dreaming it. I will definitely put this in my to be read again pile.
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1 review
January 29th, 2014
Another great Kate Atkinson novel! I loved the concept of lives lived and previous experiences overlapping with current life. I also was fascinated by the choices and lack of choice for these characters. At the core of it, though, was the fact that basic character traits remain the same. A wonderful and new reading experience.
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1 review
January 29th, 2014
I also found this book confusing at the beginning. However, once I got into the story, I though that this author, whom I just discovered, was a master. This is a very good book. I will look for more titles from KatenAtkinson.
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1 review
January 27th, 2014
I really enjoyed this book, it was the best book I read in 2013. It kept me reading because I could not wait to see what happened in Ursula's next life, and how long she managed to live it. I also enjoyed the black humour. This book was very unique and is a must read.
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1 review
January 27th, 2014
I loved this book. Made me think, "what if?" Highly recommend it.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
This is a superbly written book. Its premise is creative without being gimmicky. What stands out is how believable every possible path is. It will make you think about what it means to live a life differently than you did before reading it.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
Very hard to get into...I am not a time traveller. Typically I just read non fiction but when I heard what this was about I had to give it a whirl.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
Very interesting take on reincarnation. Not one I'd ever thought of before. Not sure I like the idea of being born to the same family time and time again but is an intriguing explanation of Deja Vu. No one else returns though, if they die they stay dead. I will admit to reading this novel in one sitting and crying over the descriptions of the London Blitz. It is very well written and is easy to relate to the characters within.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
the revew was great my kind if reading to be able to live again and again i like the setting in 1910 ilike that its about a women and beleave that the other has a great story to tell..
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
It is a heavy story but easy to engage at first, however from a certain point it starts to drag...
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
My favourite author and she didn't disappoint , took me a while to get into it but from then on I was hooked , can not wait for the sequel
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
I really enjoyed this one! At first I thought it was annoying to keep going back to the beginning but the story kept getting better and better. Kate Atkinson is a favourite of mine and I look forward to each new book.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
Love it! Love it!! Awsome story!!!
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I found the book dark and depressing for the most part. I really wanted to like it!
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Good reading. Enjoyed it. I'd recommend it.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I really liked this book. I find the concept of multiple tries at the same life "until we get it right" very intriguing. This book masterfully weaves together multiple and layered versions of same life (often with very different outcomes because of a single twist of fate), and ultimately examines (even if it doesn't fully answer) the question: What if Hitler had been stopped before he began. Atkinson narrates the same characters and the same details across all of these versions in a way that all hangs together. She never puts a putting a foot wrong in terms of logical sequence -- something that would have been very challenging to do. This is a great read!
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I am an admirer of Atkinson and I wasn't disappointed with this book. First, the characters are wonderful - interesting by being rounded people with flaws as well as good characteristics. The idea- of birth & rebirth which include the unexpected and unplanned circumstances of life- was captivating. Not many authors can write well & think deeply. And to be able to put the two together in an "I can't put it down book" shows her talent & skill. And her consistent interest in and presentation of women tops the cake.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This book was not exactly as I expected it to be but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I wasn't sure if I was actually going to finish the book to be honest but if you give it a chance it will hook you about a third of the way through.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Great book. Definitely a page turner and one that gets you thinking.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I always like Kate Atkinsons books, especially the Jason Brody ones.This was very different but did not disappoint. The endless possibilities of living your life in different ways was intriguing and made me want to read on. The ending I felt was the weakest bit. Would recommend it though.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It did take a little while to really get into but it is well worth it. It was very thought provoking and it made me reflect a lot about my life. It was a very interesting read and I highly recommend it.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Kate Atkinson is a polished and inventive author. I enjoyed the Jackson Brody series so much. This book is very different and yet equally engrossing. I have to confess I didn't really grasp the ending but look forward to re-reading. Not wanting to spoil anything but this could be considered speculative fiction (SF) in the sense of multiple alternative realities and/or a time-travel novel.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This is one of the most original and thought provoking books I have ever read. Atkinson surprised me in every chapter with her character and plot development. I could not put this book done and even after I finished reading this book it wouldn't let me go.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Bien por pensamiento y apertura
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
At first I found this book very confusing but once I realized what was happening to Ursula dying one minute and then? Set over her life times, also from the beginning of the century (well 1910 really) through both World Wars I and II.. Once you got used to the strange beginnings it was very well written with strong characterizations, clear concise writing and an interesting story-line. Did her life change anything? In parts it was maddening but overall a very good read and I enjoyed it. I give it 5 stars for originality and 4 stars for my enjoyment of the book. It was very different and that is what I have come to expect of Kate Atkinson and look forward to seeing what her next book will reveal to us...
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Well written, I enjoyed this book very much.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
A book like no other. You will either enjoy it or very much despise it. I thought it was very cleverly written the way she woul die and then the story would rewind slightly and Ursula would make a different decision taking her upon another life path. A very thought provoking novel that leaves you thinking well after the novel is completed.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
One if my all-time favorite books, it continues to haunted me. Lyrical prose, clever twists of fate, and the constant, overarching theme of the ramifications of small decisions. I am how a devoted fan of Atkinson!
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Overall great read, had a hard time getting into it.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I usually love Atkinson's books but this one I found very confusing and convoluted. Didn't like it and/or understand what was going on.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I wanted to give this book a full five stars, but the ending made me have to cut one off. While it was not a bad ending, per se, I felt like it would have ended better if it was just a little bit shorter. The last few sections had some interesting changes, but there was a moment which felt like a great finish-- and then it wasn't. But of course, one of my favourite lines in the book came from those last sections after this good ending, so it wasn't all bad. I just felt it wasn't as well-rounded off as the alternative. The writing, however, was stellar, and the repetition that did exist was not such that it felt all that repetitive, at least most of the time. There were a lot of interesting changes; watching how Ursula tackled her life each time was wonderful.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
An intriguing book! At first I thought it was just going to be a well-written but standard historical novel, but Atkinson gives the term "novel" a whole new twist. I found it fascinating that the characters, even though they grew and changed through the different scenarios, remained consistent and truly recognizable as themselves.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I very much wanted to like this book, but just did not. I found the book disjointed and and just not worth following.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Sometimes a little hard to follow.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
My daughter refered this book to me and I thoughroughly enjoyed it. Very well written and easy to read. I didn't want it to end well it didn't really ha ha!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I love Kate Atkinsons books and this was no exception. The endless possibilities of living your life in different ways was fascinating as well as the way events were changed in order to make differences. Overwhelmingly for me the book was about her love for her brother and how each different life led to his survival.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I love Kate Atkinson. Especially her Jackson Brody books. Life After Life is a totally different kind of book than the Brody series. It is not a thriller and not an easy book to read. Yet, I enjoyed it. It is an intelligent book and the philosophical idea behind it is interesting. I do have one remark. Death gives meaning to our lives because it gives meaning to the choices we make. If life was infinite there was no significance to our choices. Whatever we do didn't choose now we ca always choose later. So having the opportunity to live a different version of my life as a result of a different choise is amazing. Unfortunately in this book the different life versions are not always a result of a choice but of circumstances. This fact reduced a bit the potential depth of the book. However, I do highly recommend the book. Don't loose patience at the beginning. It's not easy to read but worthwhile.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The style of writing is very pleasing and it opened up my mind to this whole subject. I will look forward to reading more books by this author.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
good book although it did take me a little while to get into it it does get very interesting learning about the world wars in that time set, can get a little confusing with the time going back and forth but once you get the hang of it you start to get really into it. Then you can't wait to find out how it does end..
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. I love time travel novels and I found myself getting totally immersed in Life after Life. It was well written and I had no problems shifting from one time line to another. I got this book because of the story line and the concept of having to live your life over and over. I have recommended this one to many of my friends. nlc-ellk
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Well written but not a big page turner and not something I woul read again.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Kate Atkinson has grown tremendously since her first: Behind the Scenes at the Museum. This book gives us all what we want, that 2nd chance. Well written, thoughtful, funny and poignant.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Such an interesting book. Highly recommend it.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
This book was such a good read, very intriguing! I would recommend it to anyone wanting to read a truly mesmerizing book!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Really Great and intresting. Couldn't put it down for to long. I long the characters and found my self trapped in there lives.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Very good. The message is very direct and the autor can tell us what he think about all.
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1 review
January 22nd, 2014
I LOVED IT! IMAGINE BEING GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE TO GET IT RIGHT.
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1 review
November 7th, 2013
Well written, with a slightly arch tone. Clever concept, especially if you enjoy time-bending style tales. While not a time-travel book, there are some similarities, as the heroine relives parts of her life in different ways, and underlying meanings become clearer each time. Gets a little slow in the middle but definitely keeps you guessing about how all the loose ends will get tied up.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
Great book, very well written. Set over the first and second world wars which is always interesting. One major drawback for me though is the concept of time in this book. I had a hard time getting over that. Don't want to say to much and ruin the store for you. Definitely worth a read
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1 review
A rough start
June 29th, 2013
It took some time for me to get into this one or to connect with Ursula and I nearly gave it up. I'm glad I persisted. The book becomes harrowing, heart breaking, and lovely all at once. Absolutely worth the read.
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1 review

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