'Life after Life'

Tuesday 7th April 2015

‘Life after Life’

I have just started reading Kate Atkinson’s 2013 Costa award novel, ‘Life after Life’ and am thoroughly enjoying it.
I first came across Kate Atkinson’s writing in her debut novel, ‘Life Behind the scenes at the Museum’ and can still remember being fascinated by the narrator who starts relating her story from the very beginning, in other words, at her own conception.
In ‘Life after Life,’ we are given a slight inkling as to how the story will proceed by the two lines on the back of the book –
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
This makes for a very strange structure as certain scenes are visited again and again. Sometimes when I have returned to the book for my next bedtime read I have thought that I must have lost my page as I have already read that particular scene, but on reading further I realise I have not. I think in less confident hands this structure might flounder but I feel so assured by the language and the style that I am prepared to go where ever Kate Atkinson wants to take me and as a writer myself I am deeply fascinated and intrigued by her structure. She also keeps introducing me to new words such as:
Buss – A rude or playful kiss
Banting – Weight production by avoiding fat, sugar and starch.
Meerschuam – A pipe made of a fine light whitish clay

These words have now become part of my vocabulary. I especially love - Buss

More to come …..