Life After Life is the anti-YOLO novel. Does that sound glib? Because this book is genius. It’s the literary version of Groundhog Day meets Choose Your Own Adventure. It explores the biggest of Big Questions: What would you do if you could live your life over and over again until you get it right? What does “right” even mean? Does it mean avoiding heartache, defying death, meeting a soulmate, having a family? Maybe not! Probably not!
It takes a writer of great vision and discipline to create a story that has so many disparate threads, but feels so compact and elegant. I imagine that when Kate Atkinson was writing it, she had printed manuscript pages spread all over her floor and she pieced all of its spacial and chronological elements together like an elaborate puzzle. So much fun to solve.