Life After Life

January 7, 2014|
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
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1. In the epigraph, Kate Atkinson quotes Edward Beresford Todd (Teddy): ‘What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?’ Do you agree that the chance to live life over and over, as Ursula does, would be wonderful? What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of being able to start life again from scratch?

2. Some of the most dramatic scenes in the novel take place during the Blitz. Kate Atkinson has said: ‘If I could choose one period in history to return to, it would be London during that time. I can see that some people might consider that an odd choice but think what an extraordinary experience it would be’. What do you think made World War II and the Blitz such an extraordinary time? And if you could choose any period in history to visit, which would it be?

3. What did you think of the structure of Life After Life? Did you find yourself flicking back to earlier pages as you were reading? What effect do you think the non-linear, circular pattern had on your reading experience? Does it remind you of any other novels you have read?

4. Jackson Brodie, the main character in Kate Atkinson’s four previous novels, once said that things improve but they don’t get better. Can that statement be applied to Life After Life?

5. Ursula experiences a number of different kinds of relationships with men, and a variety of career choices, as she lives the different versions of her life. What do you think these alternate paths in her life say about the choices that were available to women during this period?

6. The one constant in all the different scenarios is that Ursula’s life always begins in a snowstorm. What does snow represent for you throughout the novel?

7. How did you feel when you got to the end of the novel? What do you think about ending the novel with the midwife Mrs. Haddock back in the Blue Lion pub, sipping her hot rum?

8. The Jackson Brodie novels have been characterised by many as crime novels. Some might define Life After Life as a historical novel. Do you think that Kate Atkinson’s writing can and should be classified into any particular fiction genre?
KATE ATKINSON won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and has been a critically acclaimed international author ever since. Her most recent four bestsellers featured the former private detective Jackson Brodie: Case Histories, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News...
Title:Life After Life
Product dimensions:496 pages, 8 X 5.4 X 1.07 in
Shipping dimensions:496 pages, 8 X 5.4 X 1.07 in
Published:January 7, 2014
Publisher:Doubleday Canada
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780385671392

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