This is the companion piece to Life After Life – not a sequel as such. Life After Life has the main focus on Ursula Todd, and A God in Ruins it is turned to her brother, Teddy. In the author notes, Atkinson says that she had two key concepts to write about after a lot of researching World War 2 and that was the London Blitz (Life After Life) and the British bombers (A God in Ruins).
The story itself follows Teddy’s life, and those lives around him. As an audio book, sometimes it took a moment for my brain to catch up when it started following one of the other characters. It leaps around through the stages of his life and would have the potential to be confusing except that Atkinson is such an excellent writer. Teddy is great, but there is something dissatisfying in his life and experiences – he seems to be surrounded by some very annoying people and situations, and I kept wanting more for him, better for him. And then it ends… and that all but ruined the novel for me. Having a poke around online to see other’s thoughts, it seems that a lot of people loved the book, and so perhaps the end didn’t bother them. But… overall, I’m glad I read it. I did love being back in the world of these characters, even though I wanted far more Ursula, and so long as I can forget the end, I think I will look back on it fondly.