Our booksellers review: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Posted on 7th May 2015 by Jonathan O'Brien
The sequel to one of the best books of the last few years, Life After Life.

We have written before about how much we loved Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. It was without doubt one of the best books of 2013. Can the sequel, A God in Ruins, live up to its predecessor? Yes, of course it can. It was only published today and already our booksellers are talking about how much they love it. We've gathered a few of their reviews below.


Life After Life is my favourite book of all time. It's character Ursula Todd showed us what would happen if you were able to change events in history to protect your family.

In A God in Ruins, Atkinson tells the story of Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy. We get to know him as a young pilot, writer, husband, father and grandfather, in addition to his expectations, dreams and overall his turbulent relationship with his daughter and grandchildren.

Kate Atkinson's amazing simple storytelling makes Teddy such a wonderful character that you basically fall in love with him. If you are going to pick up one book to read, make it A God in Ruins, it will be worth it.

- Emine, Waterstones Bromley


I just don't think I can do justice to how brilliant and how moving this book is. It is a truly special novel that I have fallen completely in love with!

In Life After Life we met Ursula Todd, a woman who relived her life multiple times. She had a younger, much loved brother named Teddy, A God In Ruins is Teddy's tale. This is not a follow-on in the strictest sense of the word, it is a companion novel, a book that sits nicely alongside it's predecessor. This is Teddy's life, a son, a brother, a husband, a father and grandfather, pilot in World War Two, writer and teacher.

As a huge fan of Life After Life I lapped up all the subtle references to the earlier novel that appear throughout A God In Ruins, however this can easily be read and enjoyed as a novel on it's own. The writing simply, is beautiful. Kate Atkinson pulled me completely and utterly into a world that I did not want to leave. I felt what the characters felt and I was right there with them. And the ending – just wow! I put it down and instantly just wanted to read it all over again. A sign of a truly talented storyteller. I went on a journey with Teddy and his family, a what a journey it was, emotional, shocking, funny and heartbreaking and I loved every single second, every single word.

- Emma, Waterstones Bedford


And a very brief review from Manchester Deansgate written on our internal message boards (a secret place where we all discuss books with each other. Yes, we have such things and yes, they are great). "I read A God in Ruins in a day, quite a lot of that was spent bawling my eyes out. Thought provoking, heartbreaking, wonderful."
Of course, if you haven't read Life After Life yet then don't worry. All that means is that you now know your next two books to read.


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