Anne asked:

What about the scene when Ursula is 13, I think, and visiting Izzie in London. Izzie is driving and busy turning the car around for some reason, and meanwhile Ursula sees her mother emerge from a hotel, wearing her mink coat, on the arm of a well-dressed man. I read the kindle version, so I haven't been able to go back yet and find that part. I don't think we ever get an explanation for that scene.

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Ksboydie Hi Anne, we were just discussing this at book club last week. I got this chill when I read one of the last chapters and the author seemed to suggest that Sylvie has the same ability as Ursula does to live her life over. Re-read the last description of Ursula's birth - Sylvie is prepared for the fact that Ursula will have the cord tied around her neck with her surgical scissors. The last line of that chapter is 'Practice makes perfect.' For this reason I feel that Sylvie could have been leading one of her alternate lives when Ursula saw her. Just a hypothosis because Atkinson doesn't explore this in any depth.
Jennifer Gagliardi I believe it did come up again in a round about way when Hugh jokingly asks his wife, Sylvie, about Maurice not being his since his was so belligerent. That led me to believe that it might not be his son at all. Which would then explain it all.
Kimberly I was curious about this as well.
I must confess, I'm not curious enough/willing to take the time to read another book by this author just to find out the answer.
Annette Its explained in A God in Ruins
Ann Brogan Practice makes perfect could also apply to Sylvie's children. Maurice is a brute but each successive child becomes more gentle and likeable culminating in Teddy, who seems to be the perfect child.
Yehia Shehata
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kathy I thought this was just to show that Ursula, who always has a negative view of Sylvie, doesn't have any real idea of what is going on in her parents' lives. She seems to idolise her father, as little girls often do, but doesn't realise that Sylvie may be trapped in an unhappy marriage where her only role is to look after the children and the house. This glimpse gives the impression that Sylvie may have some other life that she is secretly leading because she's bored with life at Fox Corner.
Gehad Elgendy I agree with the possibility that sylvie was cheating on Hugh.
I found also a scene that support this
Read this
"Sylvie returned in time for Mrs Glover’s apple charlotte. Their own apples – a small orchard that Sylvie had planted at the end of the war was beginning to bear fruit. When Hugh wondered where she had been she said something indistinct about Gerrards Cross. She sat at the dining table and said, ‘I’m not really terribly hungry'"
it was also mentioned in the same scene that sylvie seemed quite gay.
After that Hugh mentioned Izzie and Selvie said that she quite forgot that Ursula had been to London and said that she was glad that Ursula returned in one piece.
Mary Long-Schimanke That scene is fleshed out in the new book!! God In Ruins.
Beth Lennon I'm late to this discussion but just finished Life after Life. After finishing the scene where Ursula sees Sylvie on the streets was my main question as well so it was interesting to see it here listed as the first question.I never considered that Sylvie had the same ability as Ursula but it makes sense of the last birth scene. It also make sense of another passage where after Ursula reports that that Maurice has killed the fox in the last life, Sylvie replies that "It was always going to happen." and "I shall disinherit him one day." If this is what Kate Atkinson intended there are probably lots of other clues throughout.
Sharlene Yes I was waiting for that scene to be 'relived' as well. Very interesting ideas below! Agree with the scissor thiing - I was wondering about that myself - just finished reading this afternoon...
John Horner Giving nothing away, but your questions will be answered if you read the sequel/companion book "God In Ruins".
Jane Barclay Thanks for bringing this up, Anne! I thought I had missed where this was mentioned again and have been searching the book. I really would have liked an explanation.
Phbolton The answer is in 'A God In Ruins' the next book in the series. Sylvie considers it but decides not to. This incident is given far more play there. The two books are complementary.
Joe Dixon She almost had an affair, but didn’t go through with it. Instead she went back to Hugh and surprised him with her friskiness
Maria Cristina I have just finished the book and was wondering the same thing.
Cheriesmiles I was so curious about this too. Thanks for the question!
Nicki I just assumed it meant that Sylvie was cheating on Hugh. That could be possible in any version of reality.
Henry No indeed, nor why Maurice is so horrid!
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