My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.
Wednesday, May 29
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
Well, Kate Atkinson, you finally did me in. I just finished your latest novel Life After Life, and I was both fascinated and confounded at the same time. How in the world did you do it? How did you manage to keep all the story lines in order and all the tiny details that were encased in each of those story lines, each one slightly different each time they were introduced? By story lines, I mean the various lives the main character leads each time after she dies one way or another. The main character, a young English woman named Ursula Todd, born in 1910, dies in childbirth, drowns as a child in a tidal undertow, dies from a fall out her upstairs window, got pneumonia as a young girl and dies, dies again of influenza as a young girl, dies as a young woman from gas in her apartment when the pilot light goes out, dies from a savage beating from her husband, commits suicide in a bombed out city in Germany at the end of WWII, and dies a number of other ways. Life after life. And each life is parallel to all the others but with variations in the details of each. Amazing. Atkinson handles time like a fruit cocktail: puts all the temporal elements in a blender and stirs them all together. She moves back and forth, in and out, nothing straightforward in the telling, labeling each time segment but including within it backward details as the various characters remember events. The settings are the English countryside, a blitzkrieged London, prewar Germany, a bombed-out Germany, pre-war London, post-war London. I’d love to see this as a movie, but the script writers wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I’d also like to recommend this book to anyone with the fortitude to wade through Atkinson’s complicated world view. But any impatient readers should avoid it like the plague. If you'd care to read a review of the novel that explains it far better than I can. go to Meg Wolitzer.
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