Kate Atkinson's A God in Ruins
I might be blubbering too hard to say anything coherent about Atkinson's latest, the companion to Life After Life about brother Teddy, a bomber pilot in WWII. Somewhat surprisingly, it starts with an elderly Teddy, and flashes back and forth between his childhood, his adulthood (with complicated daughter Viola and her children), and his war years (this could actually almost be a Code Name: Verity companion with all its airplane talk, no complaints though). I think if people are expecting certain Ursula-related questions to be answered, they might be disappointed, but on its own, this is a pretty great novel, and I did love seeing Ursula through Teddy's eyes. I also loved his relationships with his grandchildren, I loved how this was sort of a meditation on life and on stories, and I ended it by totally sobbing and saying "WHAT, WHAT" multiple times. I need to read this again, immediately. Maybe it didn't grab me /quite/ the way Life After Life did, but a) it's not fair to judge it by one of my all time favorite books, and b) I think it works just as well as a standalone. It's telling a very different kind of story, and one that is almost as interesting as its predecessor's. Oh, Teddy, you were the best of them. Except for Ursula. A/A-.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released on May 5th.