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I liked this book, but it was very confusing, with all the reincarnations scattered hither thither. I thnk I would have to read it 3 or 4 times, to make better sense of it.
posted Apr 24, 2013 at 9:17AM
We follow the lives—and lives they are—of Ursula Todd and her family and friends at Fox Corner, a little corner in the English countryside, during all the years of her life, which encompasses much of the last century but particularly her young adulthood during WWII. How interesting that today when I read this day’s The Writer’s Almanac it would close with this quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson [who] wrote: "Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." It could have been Ursula saying this. This book will disappoint many of Kate Atkinson’s mystery fans, but I came to love it after a slow start.
posted May 25, 2013 at 5:55AM
Ursula is born...and dies. In an alternate reality, she is born again, grows a little older, but dies yet again. Over and over. Sometimes she is faintly aware of "past" experiences and is able to make a different choice to avert imminent danger or her own demise; at other times she perishes and must begin her life over and try again. Is fate driving her toward the ultimate task of snuffing out a great evil, and she will be forced to keep trying until she gets it right?
I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I appreciated the original premise, though the first half was a bit of a downer -- the sense of doom was palpable, and as in a horror film I knew the monster was coming but didn’t know just when it would strike. It also left me with some existential questions: Was Ursula really fated for a heroic act, or was it merely an opportunity that came along as part of her greater existential anomaly? How many lifetimes would it take for one to be utterly tired of one’s own existence?
posted Mar 18, 2014 at 9:20AM
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Has been born again and again; has lived multiple lives.