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LIFE AFTER LIFE

I am sorry, Kate Atkinson; I'm really, really sorry. I've loved all your other books, but this one just left me cold. Maybe it's the constant return to all the snow. 
Winter of 1910, and a child is born; and keeps being born until she survives the ordeal. This is a book that tackles a tricky premis; I commend it for this. The concept of allowing a character to try at life until she gets it right; life after life; is an appealing one and one that has not been attempted much. And the scope of this novel is vast; two world wars and a landscape of England and Germany. But I never got to like any of the characters, especially Ursula, and her irritating mother, Sylvia. Perhaps I was expecting something a bit more self-determining; Ursula may keep going back until she gets it right but quite a lot of the problems random; if you drown in an undertow, then you learn very little (not to go paddling?) on your return. I wanted to get closer to Ursula; see what made her tick, and was prevented by the sheer speed of the narrative. The Guardian's review describes this as…Atkinson's looping, metamorphosing narrative…which, they say…inevitably makes it sound tricksy, almost whimsical. Structurally, it is…
I agree. Structurally it's tricksy. Emotionally is did not impact on me. So; 10 out of 10 for a clever idea, Kate, but sorry, sorry I didn't like the result.