Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #75: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

When I first heard about the concept behind the novel, I was intrigued. It sounded slightly similar to Replay to me, but in the case of Replay, the protagonist relives his life from certain points of time, and remembers everything every single time. Ursula, this novel’s main character, does not remember her past lives, and each time she dies, her life starts over from the beginning (sometimes the reader goes all the way back to the beginning with her, other times Atkinson only takes the reader to the relevant decision point in that life). While she does not remember her past lives, she does get bad feelings and develops a bit of deja vu that prevents her from making the same decisions. For example, one of her deaths is the result of her falling off a roof in pursuit of a toy tossed out the window. When she finds herself in the same scenario again, she looks out the window, gets a bit scared, and leaves the toy outside. She basically knows enough to avoid her life going the same way as before. In one instance, she is also portrayed as believing the rumors of Nazi Germany fairly early on – she has a sense of things or an inkling but no actual real factual knowledge that follows her from one life to the other.

Full review.

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