A God in Ruins was my book club’s pick for September’s meeting. It is hard to get time to read with two little ones, so for this book I rented the audiobook from my local library and used it in conjunction with the e-book from Amazon (very reasonably priced).
Kate Atkinson uses the character Teddy Todd show the intimate effects of war (WWII specifically) on young men and their families. Breathtaking scenes of the peaceful English countryside juxtaposed with frightening glimpses of Teddy’s wartime experiences a soldier’s internal struggle tangible- and thus heart-wrenching- for the reader. These same contrasts are seen in the characters throughout the novel- making for a magnificent narrative that leaves the reader with a true appreciation for life and the little things that make it worth while.
I could not stop reading or listening to this book. I high-fived train conductors as they would approach railroad crossings to thank them for the extra time I got to spend with this novel. While it is a companion to Life After Life (tells Teddy’s older sister’s story), it is not necessary to read it before reading A God in Ruins. I didn’t- but I am putting Life After Life on my to do list….