20 Following


Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

My Rating: Omitted. (Fluctuates)

Initial Thoughts: Creative and engrossing.

Post-Thoughts: A bit too long in comparison to what the author had to say but the author certainly has a way with words.



My Review:

This is such an incredibly hard book to write a review for and because of that I’ve decided to omit a rating. Not because it doesn’t deserve one but because, similar to the main character, my rating seemed to reset itself over and over throughout the book. Sometimes the rating was high, sometimes the rating was low, and sometimes the rating was completely null.


First, though, let’s start with why the rating could be high. Kate Atkinson has a way with words and storytelling. At every turn, it was so easy to get swept away. Whether Ursula was living or dying, a child or an adult, I found myself completely engrossed in the plot, which is intricate and creative enough to keep things going at a steady clip. That’s no small feat for a book that is over 500 pages (hardcover).


The problem, I think, comes in later, which leads me to why the rating could be low. I found the characters to be a bit dull overall – don’t get me wrong, they have their moments, but none of them were particular standouts. Similarly, while the plot was interesting, I just found the constant resetting of Ursula’s life a bit repetitive – I know, I know! You don’t have to tell me that was the whole point – the exploration of choices leading to different outcomes – but with this book having such a high page count, it gets a bit tedious.


Now, as for the null rating that I’ve chosen, it’s a two-fold thing. On the one hand, I really do think that was a superb read for the writing alone and that many people will just love it to pieces. On the other hand, I found it a bit too long (there were a few times that I wish Ursula would die and stay dead) and, personally, didn’t find it to be a standout anything. I mean, am I glad I read it? Sure. Do I want to read it again? Absolutely not.


So, again, no rating from me, but it’s definitely a book that’s worth a ratings discussion at the very least.