Many many demands were made on our time over the weekend, greatly interfering with our reading. There was, for example, lunch with A. McC. Smith, something put together by the Junior Library Foundation where the jolly and prolific author showed up in a kilt, the connection of which to his Rhodesian birthplace escaped us. The lunch was at Nicholson’s where the fish and chips used to be reliable, but the reliability seems to have moved over to the dessert department. We had to bolt our wee bread pudding as we had limited time to climb to the Western Hills to haggle with the auto wallah over the price of a new vehicle for the Wolfe pack, a transaction that left us enraged but equipped with the next decade’s transportation. Then there was the demonstration drive for the Aged P. on Sunday morning, so we didn’t get back to Life After Life until Sunday pm which was maddening. But now we have finished it and think Kate Atkinson to be one of the five best writers alive. What a wonderful book. Like nothing we’ve ever read but like much we have read. Gorgeous snippets of plot knit through layer after layer of time – a bit like tuning through a radio band where every station is playing a different story about the same person. Where are the American Mantels and Atkinsons? Are they all bank vice-presidents and lawyers?