Book Review – A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Title: A God in Ruins (companion piece to Life After Life)
Author: Kate Atkinson
Release Date: 2015
Rating: 4 stars

‘A God in Ruins’ is a very difficult book to review. As someone who adored ‘Life After Life’ I went into this companion piece with high expectations, which (in my opinion only) it sadly did not quite live up to. I started reading it way back in 2015, but to my disappointment found the pace so slow and hard going that I abandoned it until recently, when I decided that, as a huge fan of Kate Atkinson’s work, I really must try to get through it.

So how do I review this book without giving too much away? There are flashes of sheer brilliance throughout ‘A God in Ruins’, with some chapters that literally took my breath away, but there are also large portions of the story that drag and are bogged down by unnecessary passages that seem to go on and on forever.

Up until the last few chapters I was only going to give this book a 3.5 star rating. There are breathtaking moments that are written with such understanding and emotion that they make my heart ache, but it is the final few chapters that pack a real emotional punch and made me change my rating to 4 stars.

I can’t say any more without giving too much away, but will say that even though I found ‘A God in Ruins’ a hard slog at times, I’m glad that I took the time to go back and finish it. The beautiful writing and the powerful emotional impact of the ending made it a story to remember and I’m so glad I decided to reacquaint myself with the unforgettable Todd family.

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