Monday, January 11, 2016

Audiobook review: Life After Life

Life after Life
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Format: Audiobook narrated by Fenella Woolgar
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past.
I was actually really surprised by this book, I was all for thinking that I wasn't going to like it, but as I started the audiobook I came to really enjoy this one. I will admit that this one is really repetitive, which is a complaint I saw a lot, but that was kind of the whole point of the thing. Ursula keeps on repeating moments in her life, so she can go back and change the things that she wants to undo. While she repeats moments, the different choices she makes alter how her life turns out and where she would be during the events of World War II.

This novel wasn't an easy one to take since a lot of the moments and trials Ursula goes through can get a bit dark. So I think if you have any issues with reading about murder or spousal abuse, just be aware that there are a few instances of that in this novel. Not the entire book, but the first part of the book was a little hard for me to take due events that take place while Ursula is a teen.

I loved the concept of this novel. I loved that this book questions you: Wouldn't you go back and changes things if you could? I think a lot of us would. Since Ursula gets to live over her life she also chooses to do different things, like live in Germany during the height of Hitler's occupation. I think this book really questions our perspectives on history. 

One thing I really liked about this novel was it's mystery. There is the possibility that Ursula's mother may also have this ability based on one scene in this book, but you never really know. I just love that in books. The ability to just let the reader think for themselves. Atkinson is going to write another book but set around Ursula's brother, and I think he may also have this ability, which I am super excited about!

I listened to the audiobook instead of actually reading this monster of a book, but I was glad I did because I really enjoyed the narrator Fenella Woolgar. I had to look her up after a while because I thought I had listened to other books she had narrated, but it turns out she played Agatha Christie in an episode of Doctor Who. I definitely think she had the right accent and narration style for this particular novel. If you are curious about starting to listen to audiobooks, I would definitely recommend this one. 

Happy Reads Everyone!