By Kate Atkinson
On a chilly and snowy evening in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the 3rd baby of a filthy rich English banker and his spouse. She dies prior to she will draw her first breath. On that very same chilly and snowy evening, Ursula Todd is born, we could out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a existence that may be, to claim the least, strange. For as she grows, she additionally dies, again and again, in any variety of methods. Ursula's global is in turmoil, dealing with the unspeakable evil of the 2 maximum wars in historical past. What energy and strength can one girl exert over the destiny of civilization -- if purely she has the chance?
Wildly creative, darkly comedian, startlingly poignant -- this is often Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.
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Extra info for Life After Life: A Novel
Ursula presumed Mrs Appleyard was once additionally a few form of refugee who, trying to find secure harbour within the fingers of an English gentleman, had came upon in its place the pugnacious Mr Appleyard. Ursula idea that if she ever heard Mr Appleyard really hitting his spouse then she must knock on their door and by some means placed a cease to it, even supposing she had no concept how she might do this. The dispute round the corner reached a crescendo after which the Appleyards’ entrance door slammed decisively in end and all went quiet. Mr Appleyard, a superb one for noisy exits and entrances, may be heard stomping down the steps, a path of profanity in his wake with reference to girls and foreigners, of which the oppressed Mrs Appleyard used to be either. The bitter air of secrecy of dissatisfaction that seeped throughout the partitions, besides the even much less appetizing odor of boiled cabbage, used to be particularly relatively miserable. Ursula sought after her refugees to be soulful and romantic – fleeing for his or her cultural lives – instead of the abused other halves of coverage clerks. Which was once ridiculously unfair of her. She stepped down from the mattress and did a bit twirl for the reflect. The gown appropriate her, she made up our minds, she nonetheless had her determine, even at approximately thirty. may she in the future strengthen Sylvie’s matronly girth? It was once commencing to look not likely now that she may ever have youngsters of her personal. She remembered conserving Pamela’s infants – remembered Teddy and Jimmy, too – how overwhelming the sentiments of affection and terror, the determined wish to shield. How a lot greater could these emotions be if it have been her personal baby? possibly too powerful to undergo. Over their afternoon tea in John Lewis, Sylvie had requested, ‘Do you by no means get broody? ’ ‘Like your hens? ’ ‘A “career woman”,’ Sylvie stated, as though the 2 phrases had no position within the comparable sentence. ‘A spinster,’ she further, considering the notice. Ursula questioned why her mom was once operating so not easy to rile her. ‘Perhaps you'll by no means marry,’ Sylvie acknowledged, as though in end, as though Ursula’s existence used to be nearly as good as over. ‘Would that be any such undesirable factor? “The single daughter”,’ Ursula acknowledged, tucking into an iced fancy. ‘It used to be more than enough for Jane Austen. ’ She lifted the gown over her head and, in petticoat and stocking toes, padded via to the little scullery and stuffed a water glass on the faucet earlier than removing a cream cracker. legal fare, she notion, reliable perform for what used to be to come back. All she had needed to consume due to the fact that her breakfast toast was once Pamela’s cake. She hoped to be stood, not less than, a great dinner via Crighton this night. He had requested her to satisfy him on the Savoy, they hardly ever had such public assignations, and he or she puzzled if there has been going to be drama, or if the shadow of battle was once drama sufficient and he desired to seek advice from her approximately it. She knew that battle used to be to be declared the next day, even supposing she had performed really dumb with Pammy. Crighton informed her all types of items he shouldn’t, at the foundation they'd ‘both signed the legit secrets and techniques Act’. (She, however, advised him virtually not anything.