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The Book-Addled Brain

Hello!  Welcome to my little corner of the universe.  Join me as I make my way through my infinite reading list one page at a time.

Currently reading

A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin
Progress: 187/1009 pages
Edith Hamilton
Progress: 85/497 pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré
Progress: 46 %
Les Miserables
Victor Hugo
Progress: 718/1463 pages

Ricki's quotes

"Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't."— Bill Nye

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Life After Life: A Novel - Kate Atkinson 


Only one thing is guaranteed in life...each of us, once born, will ultimately die. But the path we take from point A to point B remains unknown, the length uncertain. It is the result of the thousands of tiny and not-so tiny choices we make each day, and is filled with "what-if's?". Kate Atkinson's Life After Life is a captivating exploration of the what-if's in the life of Ursula Todd, a young British woman born on a snowy day in 1910. Ursula lives and dies many times over, and with each cyclical rebirth comes a fresh journey, new and different, but with threads of similarity that tie them all together. Ursula shows us that even the smallest choices can alter the course of history.

The author mentions the idea of reincarnation a number of times, and Ursula has flashes of deja vu from her previous lives, but I personally feel that what the author has created with this book is actually a masterful interpretation of the "many-worlds theory," the idea that all the possible outcomes that could have happened in our past, but did not, have been played out in a number of other alternate universes. Just because we choose to follow a certain path doesn't mean that the path not taken doesn't exist. In Life After Life, Ursula is a human Schrodinger's Cat, and the reader gets to see the events of her alternate universes.

In the end, regardless of whether the driving force is rebirth, reincarnation, or many-worlds, Kate Atkinson has created a remarkably thought-provoking, brilliant piece of fiction.