So a few weeks ago I decided to take some time and just relax,I decided it would be a good idea and venture into the outer confines of my humble abode and numb my brain by trotting over to the cinema house at my local mall;oh how I dread that insufferable place.Upon my arrival I purchased a ticket to a film about a Teddy bear that by some miracle had come to life and was no wreaking havoc in some American city by misusing drugs and other forms of contraband,including woman.
About 45 minutes into the screening I could feel my brain tumbling and turning in one of those uncanny Candy Floss machines;with no guilt what so ever I took a farewell slurp of my Slush Puppy(a bunch of crushed ice consisting of a flavoured sugar concentrate-quite delicious actually)and off I went to my favourite book store.
I ventured straight for the classics isle and grabbed a few I had yet to acquire,as I staked away like a thief carrying away his haul I stumbled upon a book called _Life After Life_ by _Kate Atkinson_.
Upon picking it up I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful cover depicting a Fox gazing up at the title—I am digressing a bit here,but bare with me.
As I ploughed through the first chapter into the second one I was so confused-I have read this chapter before,I was tensing up and was wondering if by some mishap the printers fumbled up with this print. Upon reading a few more chapters I started realising what was going on,and god I loved it!
Never have I read or even heard of this form of writing of even the construct of this beautifully thought out masterpiece;Atkinson can be proud of this one!
_Life after Life_tells the story of a woman called Ursula Todd born in 1910 on a snowy night in England. As the story commences it follows Ursula,Pamela(her sister),Maurice(Brother),Teddy(Her favourite sibling),Hugh(her father),Sylvie(Mother) and aunt Izzie(Her fathers sister).
Throughout the story Ursula conveys the events from 1910 all the way through the second world war and how she dies..numerous times;and overtime she is reborn on the same evening in 1910.
By drowning,falling to her death,influenza,a wall tumbling on top of her,a bomb blast..the list goes on.
She does not know that she has lived these lives,yet when she arrives at a crossroad from a previous life she has a sense of deja vu,and somehow changes the course of her own future by altering her decisions in certain situations.
This is one of those novels I do
not want to give away,it is truly beautifully written and at times I wanted to sit down next to Ursula and just hold her and tell her everything will be alright;it is an emotional roller coaster filled with sympathy and empathy..I would be lying if I said this was not on my top 5 novels I have ever read.
The beauty does not stop at the plot,the whole construct of this novel is beautiful;the jumping from 1930 too 1935 is seamless and Atkinson graciously throws in little bits and pieces of occurrences of those years not covered in a chapter.
Do yourself a favour and run down to your local book emporium and grab this banger!
Fox Corner will have you by theshort and curly’s from the first page straight through to the very end.
(Just to add-Life After Life won the Costa Novel award in 2013)
A 10\10 from me.
Well done Kate!