Thursday, April 28, 2016

A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson

A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson
(Little, Brown and Company, 2015) 
Read by Alex Jennings

This title is a nominee in the 2016 Audie Awards: Fiction Category

From Goodreads: "In Life After Life Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have."

I was predisposed to adore Teddy by Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (where he often appears alongside his sister’s stories), and this novel did nothing to change my mind. He's a great lens through which to examine WWII and it's aftermath. Atkinson paints an elegiac portrait of a time even Teddy was a bit too late for, but he never minds being a bit out-of-step. In some ways, he courts it, and those around him are (mostly) glad he does. Lovely, sweet, tragic, laden prose.

Alex Jennings’s plummy storyteller’s voice carries the story with gentle emotion. His voices didn’t
always match what I’d have expected from the character, but they were distinctive and consistent. He never gets in the way of the narrative, which allows Atkinson’s words to take center stage.

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