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Friday, January 8, 2016

Costa Novel winner: Kate Atkinson for "A God in Ruins"

Earlier this week it was announced that Kate Atkinson won the Costa Novel Prize for A God in Ruins which is a companion novel to Life After Life.  Judges spoke of the winning novel as “Utterly magnificent and in a class of its own. A genius book.”

“Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. Spanning back and forth across his lifetime, Teddy’s story offers not the dizzying concept of multiple possibilities but the painful reality of a life quietly lived. A life of courage and warfare, but also of words unspoken, of secret heartbreak and missed opportunities. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have” (

Atkinson herself thinks A God in Ruins is “possibly the best novel I’ve written.”  “I think it’s just astonishing, a stunning, stunning book,” said judge and author Cathy Rentzenbrink, of A God in Ruins. “I don’t think there’s anybody whose life would not be enriched by reading it. It fits with her work, while also being a crowning triumph” (

It is not necessary to have read Life After Life first, but if you are interested, check out my blog entry for December 1.  I chose it as the first book on my 2015 Book Advent Calendar.  Interestingly, Atkinson also won the Costa Novel Award for Life After Life in 2013.

I’ve just started A God in Ruins, and I am already saying, “Wow!”  Look for my review in a few days.