You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

Life After Life (Todd Family, #1)
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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > February 2015 - Life After Life

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message 1: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat (katzombie) | 2478 comments Discuss here!

Please tell us what you thought about the book, not just that you read it.

New This Month This month we will trial a reporting thread for Group Reads to see if we can save Sarah and I a few grey hairs when awarding badges. Please remember to report in once you have finished discussing.


message 2: by Esther (new) - added it

Esther (nyctale) | 4303 comments already checked out from the library.... I will start it during or after toppler week.


Berit | 641 comments I read this book last month, I am so curious to see what everyone thinks of it!my in person book group had quite a lively chat about it :-)


message 4: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15078 comments I'll start it as soon as I've finished my current book. I think I can start it before the toppler, but I'll have to take a break during toppler week and finish it after.


message 5: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments Berit wrote: "I read this book last month, I am so curious to see what everyone thinks of it!my in person book group had quite a lively chat about it :-)"

Maybe you'll be able share some of the observations your group had.


message 6: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments I started it last night and my initial reaction was confusion. But, prologues often do that. Then I realized that the woman (view spoiler)


Berit | 641 comments I am glad I read it and did not give up on it, so everyone who is getting frustrated or confused keep reading!!This is one of those books you have to give at least 100 to 150 pages:-) And then it will make sense or not :-( ;-)


Casceil | 2622 comments I read this book over a year ago, with another group. I enjoyed the book a lot. Discussing it is tricky because of the structure (and length) of the book. For marking spoilers, I suggest using page numbers to help others figure out whether it is safe for them to look at the spoiler.


message 9: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments Good idea, Casceil!

I'm just glad I'm not listening to this on audiobook. I'm not sure I'd be able to follow along. At least, with the print book, I can see the dates on the sections which helps. I think.


message 10: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15078 comments Your spoilers stress me! I had no idea it was such a complicated book, I was hoping for something easy ;-)

I'm not sure how my ereader book pages will relate to the actual book, so I'll be careful with spoilers.


message 11: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat (katzombie) | 2478 comments I wouldn't call it complicated Peggy, don't worry :) it just takes getting used to - I wasn't confused as such at the beginning as unengaged - but I quickly became addicted.


message 12: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15078 comments Thanks Kat, good to know :)


Berit | 641 comments In the group I read this for everyone who finished it really liked it :-) I liked it the whole way along, I really really like her writing style. I felt it was a pretty easy read, but I did know some people have a harder time with it.. Discussing it could be tricky to say the least ;-)it is almost a book best discussed at the very end after you have absorbed all of it, if that makes sense.


message 14: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18188 comments I had to re-read the prologue and chapter one I think because I thought I missed something but then I got it. Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of it.


Ava Catherine | 4258 comments This is a reread for me. I read it in 2013 when it was first released. I found that it was easier for me to keep up with all the characters and plot lines (sub plots, etc.) if I read the book fairly quickly.

It isn't complicated, but there are a lot of characters and different times to keep up with in the novel. (if I am remembering correctly)


Cherie (crobins0) | 19977 comments Peggy wrote: "Thanks Kat, good to know :)"

Yes, Peggy, Amy said the same thing. We just have to keep reading. It gets easier and is totally worth it!!!


Kazen I read the book a little over a year ago and loved it. ^^ It did take about a hundred pages for everything to click into place. Before that I wasn't drawn to the page and after that I was reading every spare moment I had, hehe.

And to those who are afraid it'll be complicated, fear not! I read this mostly in short bursts while commuting and while on lunch break and it didn't hinder my comprehension a bit. :D I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys think of it!


message 18: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments It might be easier to discuss if we identify each return to Feb 11, 1910:

Prologue & Feb 11/10 #1
Feb 11/10 #2
Feb 11/10 #3.... etc.

I'm reading the ebook and page numbers may not match up with the hardcover or paperbacks... or audiobook.

I'm about to return to Feb 11/10 #4. It's the first life in which Hugh has gone to war. I understand the approach to this novel now. In each life, Ursula (view spoiler)


message 19: by Sandra (last edited Feb 03, 2015 08:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sandra (sanlema) | 9411 comments @ Janice (view spoiler)

I liked the book and rated it 3 stars, but I was surprised it was chosen the best historical fiction in 2013 for the GR users. I read better ones the same year.


message 20: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments Hmmm... that's what I'm afraid of Sandra. (view spoiler)


message 21: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat (katzombie) | 2478 comments The GR Awards are a funny beast. I also would not have rated this as a best historical fiction, but hey, it's all subjective :)

Maybe this is a vegemite book - I was addicted and I thought it was very clever (view spoiler)


message 22: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18188 comments I'm with Kat (view spoiler)


Casceil | 2622 comments I'm with Kat and Sarah. (view spoiler)


Sandra (sanlema) | 9411 comments I see your point. (view spoiler)


Kirila | 612 comments I just picked up the book from the library tonight and read up to Feb 11/10 #3. Atkinson's writing just flows, I like the way it's written. About the story, I am not that far yet, but so far I like the idea. I wonder if (view spoiler)

When I picked up the book, it "pulled" me right away :). It's a paperback, but the covers are still really nice. It's not too heavy even though it's a chunkster. And the spacing between the lines and the margins of this edition are just the way I like them! Those little details often influence me how much I want to start the next book.


Berit | 641 comments I too found the flow of this book quite easy to read :-) I really enjoyed her writing. I think in the other group I'm in people just gave up on it too soon and didn't give it a chance


message 27: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15078 comments I'm 85% done with my current book. Hopefully I can start this one tomorrow, looking forward!


Jessica Elizabeth | 95 comments I just finished 11 February 1910 #4 (view spoiler)


Casceil | 2622 comments Response to Kirila's spoiler: (view spoiler)


Cherie (crobins0) | 19977 comments I am just getting ready to start. I finished one of my other books but still have a few in-progress.


message 31: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments I'm at Feb 11, 1910 #10. It looks like we'll have to start using Nov 1940 as the next common starting point because it doesn't flip back to Feb 11, 1910 until almost the end of the book.

I find it interesting that Ursula (view spoiler)

This reminds me of that film short they used to show on TV, when the guy wakes up and goes into the bathroom and looks in the mirror. Then he wakes up again, goes to the bathroom and looks in the mirror and screams. This keeps repeating and shortening till it's just a staccato of the scream. Ah-ah-ah-ah... caught in an endless loop.

I also understand why this is a difficult book to discuss. There are recurring themes such as the foxes and Sylvie's attraction to George. It's so hard to comment on it because the next life could have a different bent to it.

There was a big jump in time during Feb 11, 1910 #9 and I was a little confused. (view spoiler)

I'm still on the fence even though I past the 100 page mark. I'm anxious to finish the book and be done with it.


Berit | 641 comments I was definitely glad I read the whole book.Yes, I think it's best to really discuss this at the end. After you've let it all sink in. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the best book I've ever read.I actually think a better way to put it is I appreciated it, don't know if it was really all that enjoyable.


Elinaly | 113 comments I keep wondering what meaning has (view spoiler) in this whole story, does it symbolises something... or its nothing :|

After Feb 11, 1910 #3 (view spoiler)


Jessica Elizabeth | 95 comments Elinaly, I wondered the exact same thing about your spoiler #2 at that passage. :-)


message 35: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 15078 comments I finished my other book yesterday and this morning I wasn't in the mood to start another chunky book, especially not with the toppler starting in 2.5 days. I'll save this one for after the toppler :)


message 36: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18188 comments I'm pretty sure my version of the book had a fox on the front cover so the author clearly wove them in to the story for some reason. (view spoiler)


Berit | 641 comments And my in person book chat, we discussed the animal theme throughout the book. Never came out with a reason for it, so I'm interested to see what you guys come up with :-)


Thing Two (thingtwo) I read this last year, but will lead a discussion in April for my in-person book club. I thought it was fascinating! It'll be interesting to follow this discussion.


Thing Two (thingtwo) Janice wrote: "Good idea, Casceil!

I'm just glad I'm not listening to this on audiobook. I'm not sure I'd be able to follow along. At least, with the print book, I can see the dates on the sections which helps..."


Janice - I did the audio version at first and had no problem with it, but it took me a bit to catch on.


Thing Two (thingtwo) Sarah wrote: "I'm pretty sure my version of the book had a fox on the front cover so the author clearly wove them in to the story for some reason. [spoilers removed]"

Thanks for that hint. Great thing to note as I re-read.


message 41: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments While the fox theme runs throughout the story, it doesn't seem to have any significance. I'm starting to enjoy the book more. I want to get it finished because it evaporates from my iPad in 9 days, and the toppler is starting Saturday. If I don't finish it before the toppler, I might not finish it in time for the due date.

Her 16th birthday seems to be a returning point, and I have now seen two 16th birthdays and am about to revisit Sep 2, 1939 for the second time. (just as a means of placing where I am in the story).

Ursula was discussing Adolf Hitler, and wondered if (view spoiler)


message 42: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18188 comments I like that comparison to the movie Janice!


Casceil | 2622 comments Sarah wrote: "I'm pretty sure my version of the book had a fox on the front cover so the author clearly wove them in to the story for some reason. [spoilers removed]"

I was very intrigued by the information in Sarah's spoiler, and particularly by the question she raises at the end. It has been a while since I read the book, but foxes do keep turning up. Spoiler question for those who have finished the book: (view spoiler)


Berit | 641 comments I do not think the fox is really of any importance, maybe the author likes foxes :-) this is really hard to discuss because I don't remember every life in what order it came.


message 45: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18188 comments @Casceil - re your spoiler (view spoiler)


Casceil | 2622 comments Sarah wrote: "@Casceil - re your spoiler [spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


Jessica Elizabeth | 95 comments I am just beginning the first 2 Sept 1939 and I am enjoying it so much I may not get much sleep tonight. I was almost glad to see her (view spoiler)

I hope you all are enjoying it more by this point. I am really enjoying Izzie now as well. :-)


Berit | 641 comments She and Teddy were my favorite characters :-) I'm glad you're enjoying it!


message 49: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Feb 05, 2015 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 48692 comments I think this is a great book for book clubs. I was chatting with my massage therapist today about the book even though she hasn't read it. Maybe this isn't a great book but it allows for a dialogue about those pivotal moments in your life that changed the direction you were headed.

If you could go back and relive your life, how far back would you go? We'd rewind to just before those pivotal moments and try to do something else to effect a change. Perhaps, like Ursula, we'd push the maid down the stairs.

But, as my friend said, we can't go back and make those changes. It's how we deal with the messages we received from the events in our life that make a difference.


message 50: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18188 comments I agree Janice. I know that in another thread a week or so ago we were talking about mistakes we've made but how we wouldn't be where we are now if we hadn't made those mistakes. Over the years I've often wondered about "going back" and what I'd do differently but I'd always come back to that same way of thinking.

If we knew we could come back like Ursula you could just lead a really debaucherous life and take risks because you know if you die you can just do it all again. The one downside to this I suppose is if your memories are wiped with each new life and whether you start from a baby again or not.

Favourite characters - I agree that Teddy and Izzie were very likable but my favourite was Ursula. She was a very 3D character for me and because of the different routes she took we got to see every side of her, all her personality traits - her when she's strong and her when she's weak. I really felt I knew her by the end of the book.


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