Life After Life

Life After Life

by

Kate Atkinson

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Life After Life: Like a Fox in a Hole, Dec 1923 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The children are decorating the house for Christmas, and Ursula and Teddy go outside in search of holly. Their dog Trixie (Bosun had died a few years prior) finds the body of a dead girl, eight or nine years old, with her front teeth knocked out, and they run back to the house to inform the adults. Neither her identity nor that of her murderer is ever discovered. Ursula and Pamela eavesdrop to learn that no one in the village is a suspect, and that “terrible things” had been done to the child, including being strangled to death. She is buried as “Angela.” Teddy has nightmares for weeks afterward, creeping into bed beside Ursula in the middle of the night.
This incident with the young girl reinforces the idea that danger lurks on every corner, and while sometimes it seems like certain events are fated to happen (looking, for example, at some of Ursula’s earlier deaths), simple choices could have avoided this tragedy. Thus, when Nancy falls victim to the same murderer later, Ursula realizes that she can make choices in order to prevent that from happening.
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