In a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.
– from GoodReads
Much like, The Night Circus, I wanted to like this book. A co-worker recommended it, a co-worker, whose literary opinion I trust. So I had high hopes. However, it was not at all what I expected. Based on my co-worker’s description, I imagined a story about a woman who is reincarnated. She gets to live several different lives, in different time periods, having torrid love affairs. Instead, it was about a woman living the same life over and over.
Let’s start with what I liked. The characters where really interesting and likable. The main character, Ursla, had a dark sense of humor. Which I suppose you would develop after being reborn time after time. I also liked that it was set in England, spanning from the World War I to World War II.
I did not like that it was so repetitive We see the same scenes over and over again, from different points of views, sometimes with small changes, but still the same scene. I also don’t understand Ursla’s connection to Hitler and why it was her job to stop him. The book never explains why Ursla has this gift/curse. And then it ends with her being born again. I felt like the story left me hanging.