Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Life After Life

By Kate Atkinson

  • Release Date: 2013-03-14
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4
From 324 Ratings


WINNER OF THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD: the acclaimed number one bestselling novel.

'A box of delights. Ingenious in construction, indefatigably entertaining, it grips the reader's imagination on the first page and never lets go. If you wish to be moved and astonished, read it. And if you want to give a dazzling present, buy it for your friends.' HILARY MANTEL, author of THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT

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, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

'There aren't enough breathless adjectives to describe Life After Life: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound. Wildly inventive, deeply felt. Hilarious. Humane. Simply put: it's one of the best novels I've read this century' GILLIAN FLYNN, number 1 bestselling author of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and Dark Places

'Merging family saga with a fluid sense of time and an extraordinarily vivid sense of history at its most human level. A dizzying and dazzling tour de force' DAILY MAIL

'Absolutely reminded me a bit of her first book Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which is one of my most favourite books ever.' MARIAN KEYES, author of GROWN UPS

'Truly brilliant...Think of Audrey Niffenegger's The TimeTraveler's Wife or David Nicholl's One Day...[or] Martin Amis's Times Arrow.... This is a rare book that you want to start again the minute you have finished.' THE TIMES


  • Brilliant!

    By Hawk smith
    Loved it. Best book I've read in ages.
  • A book to steam through;then mourn its passing

    By Mrsshac
    Stay with it, the initial confusion is worth it! A great book, written originally, none of the prose feels forced or awkward and you will genuinely care for the protagonist's final fate.
  • Great read

    By Lwilliams42
    A great read, with characters you end up caring so much about.
  • Life after Life

    By Idle linguist
    A compelling read; the "palimpsest" of Ursula's possible lives starting and restarting and echoing each other give the book 's narrative a lovely, rhythmic structure and all the characters are so beautifully drawn that I engaged with every one. Pity about the Eva Braun sequences. Jarring, unconvincing and a bit pointless. The book would have been 5 stars without her.
  • Great story!

    By georgedrak
    This is an amazing book... great story, I like it, Highly recommend!!!
  • Gripping

    By JulieMN
    This book took hold of my attention from the start (which is always a good sign) and I found it almost impossible to put down. Initially I had to keep re-reading parts of it to fully understand the plot but after that I was away. The reliving of the same events created a feeling of suspense - which path would Ursula finally choose? I am a huge fan of Kate Atkinson's novels, so maybe I'm biased, but I always find it difficult to find a book as compelling to read afterwards - I'm always waiting for her next book to be published with huge anticipation.
  • Would make a great film

    By Uladh
    This book was very good...not great there were just too many 'new lives' started for the main character Ursula, which got a bit confusing and slightly tedious after her 6th or 7th life. I can see it pared down though, as a film in the category of Sliding Doors: the concept of a life-path being altered by the simplest coincidences is fascinating!
  • Carl Bourne

    By Carl Bourne
    Superb basically. Has a couple of things which don't quite live up to the exquisite concept and the fabulous writing but I highly recommend this book.