Author(s): Kate Atkinson
Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life, the bestselling adult book this year to date in the UK, explored the possibility of infinite chances, as 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. A God in Ruins is a masterful companion to Life After Life, and will prove once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.
If you enjoyed Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life you will not be able to put this down. A God in Ruins returns to the Todd family, this time focusing on Teddy, Ursula Todd’s much loved brother. Atkinson has referred to this work as a “companion piece, rather than a sequel”. We have the same family, with the story/ies, told from several completely different viewpoints, and this is strangely familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The book switches between characters and time frames in a seamless manner and the child Teddy, of Life after Life, is shown through his childhood, youth and adulthood with his family aging alongside him. The scenes and recollections of Teddy the bomber pilot are understated and yet completely devastating. Teddy’s marriage, his difficult daughter Viola and his loving relationship with his grandchildren give a compelling view of the journey from boy to man. I don’t want to say too much about the characters as they deserve to tell their own stories. I am going read Life After Lifter again, followed closely by a re-read of A God in Ruins. This is a book I truly loved and it will most likely be my book of the year – in a year of excellent books. Highly recommended. - Marie
A God in Ruins is the much-awaited latest novel by Kate Atkinson. It follows the life of Teddy, who first made his appearance in Life After Life. While many of the characters in A God in Ruins appeared in Life After Life, the book stands alone and can read without having read the earlier book. Teddy was born into the idyll of rural England and was destined to the boredom of life as a banker. This was radically altered by the onset of war, and instead Teddy joined the RAF and became a bomber pilot. The life that Teddy, his daughter and her children have led are explored in this novel, with each character being realistically and insightfully portrayed. The impact of war is a central theme of the book, with the horror and realities of conflict depicted through the story. Where Life After Life explores history and events through a number of different scenarios, A God in Ruins looks at recent history through the life of one man, travelling backwards and forwards in time, forming a whole picture of Teddy’s life, not only with stories about him but of people directly involved in his life. This was an interesting, entertaining and enlightening read. - Sarah
The companion novel to Kate Atkinson's number one Sunday Times bestseller Life After Life.
Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her last novel, Life After Life, was the winner of the Costa Novel Award and the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Prize, and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize. It was also voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic. Her new novel A God in Ruins is a companion to Life After Life. She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List, and was voted Waterstones UK Author of the Year at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards.