First Chapter, First Paragraph

First chapter

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros to share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that she’s reading or planning to read soon.

My opener this week is from A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson:A God in Ruins (Todd Family, #2)

30 March 1944

The Last Flight


He walked as far as the hedge that signalled the end of the airfield.

The beating of the bounds. The men referred to it as ‘his daily constitutional’ and fretted when he didn’t take it. They were superstitious. Everyone was superstitious.


“He had been reconciled to death during the war and then suddenly the war was over and there was a next day and a next day. Part of him never adjusted to having a future.”

Kate Atkinson’s dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again.

A GOD IN RUINS tells the dramatic story of the 20th Century through Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy–would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather-as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.

An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man’s path through extraordinary times, A GOD IN RUINS proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.

I haven’t read Life After Life, so I’m hoping that won’t matter and that this book will read well as a standalone. If you’ve read it what do you think?

17 thoughts on “First Chapter, First Paragraph

  1. I just read this a few weeks ago. I loved it. The ending was a surprise but it probably shouldn’t have been. Looking forward to reading your thoughts once you finish it.


  2. I enjoyed both this book and Life After Life. They both stand alone very well so I don’t think reading this one first will be a problem.


  3. Although I read Life After Life before this novel, I don’t believe that doing so enhanced the pleasure I found in this novel. I hope continue reading it and find it as emotionally rewarding as I did. However, I must tell you that months after finishing it I cannot forgive the author for using her authorial privilege in the way that you will discover for yourself. Wonderful story, incredible hero.


  4. I have to confess, this is an Atkinson that I haven’t read, Margaret. But it certainly does sound good. And I really do like her work. I’ll be interested in what you think of it.


  5. I’m just beginning to read Life After Life for my library book club. Because this author is a favorite, I purchased my copy of this. It’s a long one, hope i can finish it in time. i’ve heard mixed reviews about this, some just love it, others detest it but it seems that everyone enjoys A God in Ruins.
    I just adore her writing so i’m confident that i will enjoy both books. Hope you enjoy, can’t wait for your review!


  6. I don’t think it will make a jot of difference that you haven’t read Life After Life. And I thought this was the better book.

    The ending – well, I think it was meant to be a surprise, and should be. That is what makes half the pleasure of the book.


  7. I enjoyed Life After Life, but it wasn’t an easy read for me. I have had God in Ruins almost since the day it came out, and am hoping to read it in Dec.

    The beginning sounds like Life After Life–yep, I would, and will, read on!


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