This is a clever, beautifully constructed novel – some people would say that it was circular, but I see it more as a series of overlapping loops. Where they touch, the plot changes it’s direction and the life of the protagonist, Ursula, takes a different path, as do the lives of the other characters. Ursula is born, dies immediately: is born and lives to be five; is born and lives to be twelve; and so on, until she lives out her proper span.
The book is ingenious, imaginative, disorientating, and above all hugely entertaining in its myriad of possibilities. The scenes set in the London Blitz are heart rending and vivid – when so many lives were lost to memory.
I feel the book makes the reader think about the possibilities of their own lives, if a different decision had been made, a different desire acted upon, a different character encountered. I didn’t want to put it down once started, just like her other novels, but more so. I shall certainly be reading it again!
Of all the variations, which is your favourite path that Ursula took?