Atkinson, Kate. Life After Life
This beautiful new novel from British author Kate Atkinson is truly an inventive piece of storytelling. The reader is introduced to Ursula Todd not once, but multiple times. That is because Ursula is born and then dies over and over, going a little farther each time, down different paths, all leading to startlingly different versions of Ursula's life. Through her eyes we experience her childhood and family life in a middle-class English household, love in all its forms, and most importantly, the role, or many roles, she will play in World War II.
Ursula is a wonderful protagonist who is always struggling to become the woman she is meant to be. As readers, we watch as she is always given her second chance, never having to wonder “what if?” Atkinson manages to balance what could have been a very onerous story with bright moments of wit and humor. Once you start, you will not be able to put it down.