After an entertaining discussion of Crooked Heart, the Field Notes Book Group decided that we will continue meeting over the summer (so no reading of 970 + pages books this summer!), and chose the next book the group will read: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson.
This book, recommended to me by my friend Betsy Tomic, is a different kind of historical novel, set in England from 1910 through World War II, and showcasing in a vivid way all the different choices we make and how even the smallest changes from one set of circumstances to another can make all the difference in the world.
Ursula, the protagonist, is born and dies over and over and over. Think of Groundhog Day, though more serious: a seemingly endless repetition of opportunities, where Ursula sometimes remembers (a little) what happened to her the last time she was faced with this crossroads and sometimes she just lucks out and manages to make a different decision this time. The problem, of course, is that the new decision takes her down yet another path, with its own dangers and disasters, and then those need to be avoided the next time around as well. That she lives through (or doesn’t live through, as the case may be) World War I, the Spanish Influenza of 1918, the buildup to World War II, and the Blitz makes this a historical novel, but a very special kind of historical novel, where the character gets multiple chances to try to make a difference, to make it right at last.
Sounds intriguing? Of course it does! Come to the library to pick up your copy and then come and join us on July 29 in the Field Library Gallery from 11:00 to 12:30 for insightful discussion and, of course, coffee and snacks.