Imagine being born, living part of your life, dying prematurely and then being reborn to live that life over again. In that new life you have premonitions that help you avoid pitfalls you encountered in your former life. But then some other catastrophe befalls you and you are once again reborn to relive your life over and over again.
Imagine this happening during World War II and knowing what devastation Hitler has inflicted on the world. What if you could stop him before his plans become a reality?
These two themes as well as others intertwine to create a totally original book that will leave the reader in awe of Kate Atkinson, the author of Started Early, Took My Dog, a Novel and Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Totally different than her prior books, she has been widely praised for this wonderful novel. Booklist Magazine writes: “ From her deeply human characters to her comical dialogue to her meticulous plotting, Atkinson is working at the very top of her game. An audacious, thought-provoking novel from one of our most talented writers.”
What an interesting book this is! As the story is told by the narrator Paul Lohman, we begin to distrust him and wonder whether he is telling the truth.
Taking place totally within the context of one dinner in a restaurant, Paul, his brother and their wives discuss their teenage sons. The boys have done something terribly wrong and as the book unfolds, we become privy to exactly what has happened. The reader is left to slowly understand and a sense of horror builds inexorably to the ending.
Fans of Stephen King and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (soon to be a major movie) will especially relish this absorbing story. Plan to not be able to put this book down until you finish!