Life After Life

Life After Life

by

Kate Atkinson

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hachette edition of Life After Life published in 2013.
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Snow (I), 11 Feb 1910 Quotes

No breath. All the world come down to this. One breath […] Panic. The drowning girl, the falling bird.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
Four Seasons... , 11 Feb 1910 Quotes

“God surely wanted this baby back,” Bridget said when she came in later that morning with a cup of steaming beef tea.

“We have been tested,” Sylvie said, “and found not wanting.”

“This time,” Bridget said.

Related Characters: Sylvie Todd (speaker), Bridget (speaker), Ursula Todd, Dr. Fellowes
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
War (I), Jul 1914 Quotes

Motherhood was her responsibility, her destiny. It was, lacking anything else (and what else could there be?), her life.

Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
War (II), 20 Jan 1915 Quotes

Ursula had been about to plunge out of the window in Queen Solange’s wake, intent on delivering her from the no man’s land of the roof, when something made her hesitate. A little doubt, a faltering foot and the thought that the roof was very high and the night very wide.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
Armistice (V), 11 Nov 1918 Quotes

Bridget went flying, toppling down the stairs in a great flurry of arms and legs. Ursula only just managed to stop herself from following in her wake.

Practice makes perfect.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Sylvie Todd, Bridget
Page Number: 124
Explanation and Analysis:
Peace, Feb 1947 Quotes

So much for progress. How quickly civilization could dissolve into its more ugly elements. Look at the Germans, the most cultured and well mannered of people, and yet... Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:
Like a Fox in a Hole, Sep 1923 Quotes

“There are some Buddhist philosophers (a branch referred to as Zen) who say that sometimes a bad thing happens to prevent a worse thing happening,” Dr. Kellet said. “But, of course, there are some situations where it’s impossible to imagine anything worse.”

Related Characters: Dr. Kellet (speaker), Ursula Todd, Sylvie Todd, Bridget, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
Like a Fox in a Hole, May 1926 Quotes

Ursula had seen her brothers naked, knew what they had between their legs— wrinkled cockles, a little spout—and it seemed to have little to do with this painful piston-driven thing that was now ramming inside her like a weapon of war. Her own body breached. The arch that led to womanhood did not seem so triumphal anymore, merely brutal and completely uncaring.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Maurice Todd, Howie
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
Like a Fox in a Hole, Aug 1926 (I) Quotes

“But he forced himself on you,” she fumed, “how can you think it was your fault?”

“But the consequences...” Ursula murmured.

Sylvie blamed her entirely, of course. “You’ve thrown away your virtue, your character, everyone’s good opinion of you.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Sylvie Todd (speaker), Pamela Todd (speaker), Hugh Todd, Howie
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Like a Fox in a Hole, Jun 1932 Quotes

“Intact?” Ursula echoed, staring at Sylvie in the mirror. What did that mean, that she was flawed? Or broken?

“One’s maidenhood,” Sylvie said. “Deflowering,” she added impatiently when she saw Ursula’s blank expression. “For someone who is far from innocent you seem remarkably naive.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Sylvie Todd (speaker), Hugh Todd, Derek Oliphant, Howie
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

She no longer recognized herself, she thought. She had taken the wrong path, opened the wrong door, and was unable to find her way back.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Sylvie Todd, Derek Oliphant, Howie
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:

Derek’s whole life was a fabrication. [...] What had he wanted from her? Someone weaker than himself? Or a wife, a mother of his children, someone running his house, all the trappings of the vie quotidienne but without any of its underlying chaos.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Derek Oliphant
Page Number: 234
Explanation and Analysis:
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (I), Nov 1940 Quotes

“Could you do that? Could you kill a baby? With a gun? Or what if you had no gun, how about with your bare hands? In cold blood.”

If I thought it would save Teddy, Ursula thought. Not just Teddy, of course, the rest of the world, too.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Ralph (speaker), Edward (“Teddy”) Todd, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 277
Explanation and Analysis:
The Land of Begin Again, Aug 1939 Quotes

Most people muddled through events and only in retrospect realized their significance. The Führer was different, he was consciously making history for the future.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Jürgen Fuchs, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 351
Explanation and Analysis:

“Hindsight’s a wonderful thing,” Klara said. “If we all had it there would be no history to write about.”

Related Characters: Klara Brenner (speaker), Ursula Todd, Jürgen Fuchs, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 354
Explanation and Analysis:

Powerful men needed their women to be unchallenging, the home should not be an arena for intellectual debate. “My own husband told me this so it must be true!” she wrote to Pamela.

Page Number: 359
Explanation and Analysis:

What had the Fuhrer’s apprenticeship for greatness been? Eva shrugged, she didn’t know. “He’s always been a politician. He was born a politician.” No, Ursula thought, he was born a baby, like everyone else. And this is what he has chosen to become.

Related Characters: Eva Braun (speaker), Ursula Todd, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 360
Explanation and Analysis:
The Land of Begin Again, Apr 1945 Quotes

She held tightly on to Frieda and soon they were both wrapped in the velvet wings of the black bat and this life was already unreal and gone.

She had never chosen death over life before and as she was leaving she knew something had cracked and broken and the order of things had changed.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Frieda
Related Symbols: Darkness and the Black Bat
Page Number: 379
Explanation and Analysis:
A Long Hard War, Sep 1940 Quotes

Of course, even Miss Woolf had not imagined how distressing these sights would be when they involved civilians rather than battlefield soldiers, when they involved shoveling up unidentifiable lumps of flesh or picking out the heartbreakingly small limbs of a child from the rubble.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Miss Woolf, Emil
Page Number: 390
Explanation and Analysis:
A Long Hard War, Oct 1940 (I) Quotes

“Yet we must hold fast to what is good and true. But it all seems so random. One wonders about the divine plan and so on.”

“More of a shambles than a plan,” Ursula agreed.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Miss Woolf (speaker), Adolf Hitler, Dr. Kellet
Page Number: 413
Explanation and Analysis:
A Long Hard War, Nov 1940 Quotes

Some hours later they had both woken up at the same time and made love. It was the kind of love (lust, to be honest about it) that survivors of disasters must practice—or people who are anticipating disaster—free of all restraint, savage at times and yet strangely tender and affectionate.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Crighton, Ralph, Fred Smith
Page Number: 441
Explanation and Analysis:
A Long Hard War, May 1941 Quotes

“We only have one after all, we should try and do our best. We can never get it right, but we must try.” (The transformation was complete.)

“What if we had a chance to do it again and again,” Teddy said, “until we finally did get it right? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

“I think it would be exhausting.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Edward (“Teddy”) Todd (speaker), Jürgen Fuchs, Adolf Hitler
Page Number: 446
Explanation and Analysis:
A Long Hard War, Jun 1967 Quotes

“An awful lot of people would still be alive.”

“Well, yes, obviously. And the whole cultural face of Europe would be different because of the Jews. […] But perhaps Goering or Himmler would have stepped in. And everything would have happened in just the same way.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Nigel (speaker), Pamela Todd
Page Number: 473
Explanation and Analysis:
The End of the Beginning Quotes

Become such as you are, having learned what that is. She knew what that was now. She was Ursula Beresford Todd and she was a witness.

She opened her arms to the black bat and they flew to each other, embracing in the air like long-lost souls. This is love, Ursula thought. And the practice of it makes it perfect.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Adolf Hitler
Related Symbols: Darkness and the Black Bat
Page Number: 473
Explanation and Analysis:
The Broad Sunlit Uplands, May 1945 Quotes

Ursula stayed where she was, worried suddenly that if she moved it would all disappear, the whole happy scene break into pieces before her eyes. But then she thought, no, this was real, this was true, and she laughed with uncomplicated joy as Teddy let go of Nancy long enough to stand to attention and give Ursula a smart salute.

Page Number: 525
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.