Study Guide

Life After Life Setting

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England (and briefly Germany), 1910-1967

Back at the House at Fox Corner

During her many lives, Ursula Todd lives in the English countryside, London, Germany, and in one brief instance, with Hitler as Europe goes through World Wars I and II . So many WWII novels are set around the Holocaust or in brutal battles in Normandy, but this novel gives us a lesser-seen perspective: one of a person living in London during the Blitz or, thanks to the gift of reincarnation, the same person living in Germany as Hitler rises to power.

Most of the book, though, takes place at Ursula's family home, Fox Corner. We see it from the moment Sylvie and Hugh move to the house and name it, saying "A little whimsy never hurt anyone" (4.42). It's a little tense at first because Hugh thinks "It sounds like a children's story" (4.41) and asks, "Can a house be a corner? Isn't it at one?"—which, you know, he has a point about. But anyway. The house is improbable and a little whimsical, just like Ursula's many lives often are, making it the perfect place for her to be born… and reborn… and reborn again.

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