I have previously reviewed Life after Life in print, but in case you need a refresher, here’s the synopsis I wrote:
It is 1910 and one of the snowiest nights in memory in England when Ursula Todd is born. Unfortunately, little Ursula is not long for this world, dying almost before her mother even realizes she has been born. Luckily for Ursula, she is born again, the same day to the same family, and this time with another result. So Ursula is born time and time again, as she succumbs to the perils of early 20th-cenutry life but is repeatedly granted another chance, as if her life is building towards some grand purpose.
When I first finished Life after Life I had pretty daydreams about how much I had loved it and hoped against hope that my editor at Audiofile Magazine would assign me the audio to review (SPOILER ALERT: she did). As the weeks passed after reading it, though, I began to grow worried about the audiobook. Life after Life is huge, and has the tendency to loop back in on itself. Turns out I shouldn’t have worried. I don’t know if it was Fenella Woolgar’s narration, the production as a whole, or the source material, but Life after Life actually translated to audio quite well. Of course, I did have the benefit of already having read it once, but that was at least two months before I listened to the audio, so while I’m sure it smoothed the way, I did not necessarily remember all the intricacies of the plot.
I do think a listener who had no idea what the book was about might still be hugely confused the first time Ursula dies and the whole thing starts again, but as long as you have the basic premise you’d might as well spend 15 hours listening to Fenella Woolgar’s lovely narration – particularly her smashingly good American, French, and German accents.
For more, please see my review for Audiofile Magazine
Source: Audiofile Magazine.
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