Ursula Todd is born on 11th February 1910 and dies with the umbilical cord around her neck. Then she is born on the 11th February 1910 and survives birth but dies in childhood. She lives her life over and over again, tiny facets or decisions changing each time to give different outcomes. This is a fascinating look at how the seemingly insignificant choices we make in our lives have a huge, world-spanning impacts.
I really enjoyed the characters and although I listened to this on audiobook (which is always a bit hit or miss with me and the success depends an awful lot on the narrator) and I was gripped the whole way through.
And although it is definitely a complex book, it was remarkably easy for me to follow. And I'm not one for dense, literary novels. Like, at all. Kate Atkinson has an interesting way of writing about complex characters with emotional depth and a crazy plot line whilst remaining completely accessible. If only more authors had this talent. She did the same thing in Behind The Scenes At The Museum, another excellent book and one that has several parallels with this one (complex mother-daughter relationships, a study of how the first and second world wards impacted the lives of ordinary civilians).
The only tiny criticism I'd have is that I want to check I understood the ending correctly. Also I got the impression that Ursula's mum has the same ability/curse as her, but if this is ever resolved then I must have missed that bit.
I finished this book over a week ago and I still can't stop thinking about it. I really want to go back and read it as a paper book so I can flick backwards and forwards between lives.