Book Review Life After Life – Kate Atkinson

Life After LifeKate Atkinson

Book Summary

In 1910, Ursula Todd is born during a snowstorm in England, but two parallel scenarios occur – in one, she dies immediately. In the other, she lives to tell the tale. As the possibility of having a second chance at life opens up, the novel unfolds, following Ursula as she lives through the events of the twentieth century again and again.

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here is Kate Atkinson at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.


The group found this book “Life after life” confusing and even frustrating. The writing was well done but passages in German did not help our understanding.

Going back and forward in time as well as the different realities did not make for continuous reading. Also, reviews of the book were misleading – not what we were expecting. It was a chore not a pleasure.

Group rating: 4 ½ out of 10

Read By – Dundas Readers