If You Liked Life After Life…

life after life

‘Time isn’t circular,’ she said to Dr. Kellet. ‘It’s like a … palimpsest.’
‘Oh dear,’ he said. ‘That sounds vexing.’
‘And memories are sometimes in the future.’

Life After Life was my first Kate Atkinson, and while I hear that it’s not very much like some of her other writing, I very much enjoyed this novel for its recursive overlaying of stories, and the many replays of Ursula’s life.  I thought Kate Atkinson played with some very interesting ideas related to memory, fate and the idea of personal agency.  It was another of those excellent novels that pairs just a little bit of speculative writing with a lot of historical detail.

If Ursula’s many lives in Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life also appealed to you, you might want to try some of the following:

If you liked the detail about the London Blitz and the multiple, complex and recursive storylines you might like Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis

If you liked the fatalistic aspects of a personal life revisited repeatedly, you might like The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger or the film About Time, directed by Richard Curtis

If you liked Ursula’s growing awareness of her reincarnation and kept reading to experience her journey, you might like Every Day by David Levithan or The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

If you would like to read more about the Todd family, you might like Kate Atkinson’s follow up novel about Ursula’s younger brother Teddy, A God in Ruins

If you liked Fox Corner and the complex relations between members of the Todd Family, you might like a like a book with a similar dynamic like Howard’s End by E.M Forster or the more modern Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido

If you liked the idea of altering history explored in Life After Life, you might like Kindred by Octavia Butler, or Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card

Book Review: Among Others by Jo Walton

Among Others by Jo Walton
(Inter Library Loan from Public Library)

Among Others was recommended by a friend of a friend, and when I finally got round to reading it it turned out to be one of those books that I felt had been grown in a lab, just for me.  It’s a love letter to reading, set in rural England and Wales in the 1970’s, with just enough fantasy beneath the surface to intrigue me, without needing me to suspend disbelief.

amongothers

If you enjoy books about reading, rural settings and a hint of urban or contemporary fantasy, you might enjoy these other reads:

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
Trader by Charles De Lint
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling