2015: A God in Ruins

A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson

Eventually I will blog about a book that I didn't think was terrific, but I'm only three days back and have a backlog of pretty tremendous reads.  Anyway, this book, the new Kate Atkinson, was probably the best thing I've read this summer.  It's a companion piece to her Life After Life,* in that it involves many of the same characters, but I for one like this one better (even if Life After Life, with its flashy plot device got all the press and was shortlisted for the Booker).  

It's the story of Teddy Todd (the younger brother of Ursula from Life) and of his life - from his childhood, through his experience as a bomber in WWII and so on.  It's tremendous.  Like I said, it doesn't have the fancy meta tricks of Life, but the writing is so good and evocative - particularly of what it was like to be a bomber during the war, but my god, the part with his wife's illness was pretty harrowing (and not to be too spoiler-y, hit pretty close to home).  Yes, we've read stories about England, and about the war and post-war and all that jazz, but this is just so well done - you just care about Teddy and his life.  It's the kind of book I press on people (have already pressed it on my dad, mom, and sister, in fact), and I think that if you have any interest in 20th Century Britain (or, I don't know, the human condition), I think you would love this book.  Highly recommended. 

*which I read, and loved, though it was during a period when the blog was dark.  And if I'm totally honest I didn't quite understand the ending of that book until it was explained to me.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017