I enjoyed reading Life After Life not long ago although at times it did irk me, the constant re-starting of life which went on in it and what seemed like a waste of good fiction ideas which might have been taken further in a more ‘normal’ book. Anyway, Jack was keen for me to get around to reading A God in Ruins fairly quickly as he wondered what I would think of it – so here goes. I’m not going to say too much about the actual story for fear of spoiling it for anyone, suffice to say that as often occurs with Atkinson the story jumps around a lot from 1944 to contemporary times.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson is a sort of continuation of Life After Life, the main character is Teddy Todd who is an RAF Halifax bomber pilot, he is the younger brother of Ursula who has such a busy existence in Life After Life.
Atkinson obviously had to do a lot of research into the experiences of pilots and their crews and she manages to write what seems to me to be incredibly realistic and absolutely terrifying bombing sorties as Teddy takes part in the carpet bombing of Germany in 1944. I’ve always thought that those men were made of stronger stuff than anyone today and this book just underlines it.
I loved this book it’s a real page turner, but it is like a palimpsest with rubbing out and rewriting of lives being involved when you get to the bottom of it. The whole story takes a very sad turn towards the end, but it makes you think how everything was changed in people’s lives, all those futures that people planned, but they just never happened as they had hoped they would.
If you want to know what Jack thought of the book have a look here.
I’m looking forward to her next book. I read this one for the Read Scotland 2016 Challenge. Although Atkinson was born in the north of England she has lived in Edinburgh for many years, and she uses Scots words, such as ‘hirpling’ meaning limping.