He had been reconciled to death during the war and then suddenly the war was over and there was a next day and a next day and a next day. Part of him never adjusted to having a future.
Kate Atkinson’s dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances, as Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.
A God in Ruins is a masterful novel. It looks not only at war – that great fall of man from grace – but also at the endless opportunities offered by fiction. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.
'As in Life After Life, Atkinson isn’t just telling a story: she’s deconstructing, taking apart the notion of how we believe stories are told. Using narrative tricks that range from the subtlest sleight of hand to direct address, she makes us feel the power of storytelling not as an intellectual conceit, but as a punch in the gut'
'Every one of Atkinson's characters will, at one moment or another, break readers' hearts. Atkinson mixes character, theme, and plot into a rich mix, one that will hold readers in thrall'
Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist