A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson

I DNF’d this book last night.

I was so bored with A God in Ruins that I skipped the second half of the book and advanced to the end of the book.

There is a twist at the end of the story, but it was too little and too late, and I had kind of predicted it anyway.

As with Life After Life, it was not the writing that put me off. Kate Atkinson clearly has a talent for writing beautiful prose. My problem was again with the plot.

I found it very hard to get invested in the story of Teddy, the brother of Ursula from Life After Life.

A God in Ruins is not one of those books that is driven by plot, and so it relies on its characters being interesting enough to keep reading. While Teddy’s daughter, Viola, could have provided this interest, Teddy didn’t. I get that Teddy was a representation of the many WW2 pilots who returned from the war to lead very ordinary lives without fuss and much excitement, and I appreciate that Teddy is a tribute to those men. However, I would rather read about these men from non-fiction sources than in a fictional environment.

As for the point of the book that events and lives are interlinked and a change in one results in a ripple effect that will change others, I believe this came across quite well in Life After Life and did not need the additional elaboration of Teddy’s story in A God in Ruins.


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