bookshelves: costa-whitbread-winner, giftee, published-2013, e-book, wwi, wwii, winter-20132014, war, time-slip, bedside, britain-england, london
Read from January 02 to 11, 2014
giftee (thanks Jema – nice one!)
Description: On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.
Opening: November 1930: A FUG OF tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the café. She had come in from the rain and drops of water still trembled like delicate dew on the fur coats of some of the women inside. A regiment of white-aproned waiters rushed around at tempo, serving the needs of the Münchner at leisure – coffee, cake and gossip.He was at a table at the far end of the room, surrounded by the usual cohorts and toadies. There was a woman she had never seen before – a permed, platinum blonde with heavy make-up – an actress by the look of her. The blonde lit a cigarette, making a phallic performance out of it. Everyone knew that he preferred his women demure and wholesome, Bavarian preferably. All those dirndls and knee-socks, God help us.
A growing device outside Buddhist philosophy, over and over novels started for me with Ouspenskey’s ‘Strange Life of Ivan Osokin’, a story that, contrary to the grramazon blurb box date of 1972, was brought to life (for the first/last time!?) in 1915. Over-agains and timeslips seem to gather polemic reactions in me, just because one was a 4* does not mean that it is a safe bet for the next similar stratagem.
“Bridget had taken to making misshapen socks – she could not turn a heel for the life of her – for her new love. She had ‘given her heart’ to a groom from Ettringham Hall called Sam Wellington. ‘Oh, for sure, he’s an old boot,’ she said and laughed her head off at her joke, several times a day, as if telling it for the first time.”
After hankering after this for so long, Jeanette very kindly added Life After Life to my Bookmas sack, however the first attempt to read it left me cold.
No Jackson Brodie.
This was the first title on my new ipad, so upon a second embarkation into this back lit story, I was away. If it wasn’t for the delicious writing the plot would of sent me barmy(ier?) although it should be noted that within the storylines there are smaller stories that are positively endearing.
4* Case Histories
4′ One Good Turn
3* When Will There Be Good News
4* Started Early Took My dog
3.5* Life After Life