Awhile ago, Ryan wrote a raving review about Kate Atkinson’s bestselling novel Life After Life. If you haven’t read the book yet…well, look, just read it. Yes, its 500 pages. But I promise it’s worth your time.
So much so, in fact, that you’ll pick up Atkinson’s next book, A God in Ruins, as soon as you finish the first. This new novel focuses on Teddy, who we meet in Life After Life as a side-character and brother of Ursula. The book is written in such a way that you don’t necessarily have to read both, but a chronological read certainly helps–and makes the ending that much more powerful.
A God in Ruins focuses on Teddy’s life–his young romances, time in the war, and experiences with parenthood.
What I love about Atkinson’s writing is that she asks the big questions–I mean, dealing with war, relationships, and reincarnation, how could you not?–but she doesn’t really give the answers. She makes you think for yourself. I found the questions sneaking up on me during breakfast, or during my drives to work. The definition of a good life, the limits of communication, the hardships of parenting, the elements of war, the choice between fighting for something larger than yourself or committing to your immediate environment…well, I could go on forever, but it’s all subtly yet powerful dealt with here.
And the ending? Oh man. Just wait.
Thanks for reading! -Autumn
Also available as audiobook.