I read Life After Life not long after it was published in 2013; I gave it to my mom as a gift (so that I could read it after her). I’ll borrow the synopsis from the author's website: “What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?” This novel explores that question in fascinating detail. Life After Life is a beautiful work of literature from a writer whose talent jumps off the page and sometimes even smacks you in the face—but in a good way. You’ll think about different moments in the book, its characters, and the overall conceit of the novel for days and weeks after reading. The fact that I’m writing about it still, almost a decade later, is evidence that the story sticks with you.
After reading and loving Life After Life, I started digging into Atkinson’s other books. For example, her Jackson Brodie series is totally different than Life After Life, but just as well written; they’re great page-turners. The series focuses on a private detective, Jackson Brodie, who is adept at unraveling mysteries in other people’s lives but less adept at sorting out his own life. If you’re interested, start with Case Histories, the first book in the series (though, by mistake, I started with the second book and survived). A new book in the series, Big Sky, came out a few years ago, but I haven’t read it yet—I’m saving it for a rainy day as I do all good things.
Available through your local bookstore, here.
*What do I mean by "geeking out"? Let me explain.