Study Guide

And the Rest in Life After Life

And the Rest

People of the World Spice Up Our Lives 

There are a few flat and static characters Ursula meets, just like we all do in our lives—people whose names we know, along with one or two things about them, but not much else. Sometimes they change our lives in major ways, sometimes they have barely an impact. Here are the ones who affect Ursula's many lives:

  • Mr. Winton is painter who rescues the girls, as though he's the hand of fate himself.
  • Dr. Fellowes is the doctor who sometimes delivers Ursula and sometimes doesn't, depending on which life we're talking about. He's a shrewd enough doc to be able to quickly snip Ursula's umbilical cord to save her from strangling to death, but Sylvie still hates him, like she hates most doctors. He's also a little creepy, sometimes fantasizing about being given a sponge bath in front of the fire by Bridget (who is fourteen).
  • Dr. Kellet also factors into Ursula's life. Sylvie takes Ursula to him to help her with her déjà vu. He teaches Ursula about Buddhist thought, reincarnation, and Nirvana. This guy believes in heaven, but not God.
  • The Shawcross family is composed of Winnie, Gertie, Millie, Nancy, Bea, and their parents, Colonel and Mrs. Shawcross. Winnie is friends with Pamela, though we don't experience too many of their adventures. Ursula later shares an apartment with Millie, who is her friend in the timelines where Nancy doesn't die. Also when Nancy doesn't die, she loves Teddy and reads poetry at Hugh's funeral. She's the most romantic of them all.
  • The Brenners are the Shawcrosses of Germany. Klara is the most important, being closest to Ursula's age and introducing her to Eva Braun.
  • When Ursula lives in the apartment at Argyll Road, she acquaints herself with the tenants: Mrs. Appleyard, Eryka, and her stinky baby Emil; the Misses Nesbit, Lavinia and Ruth, who place knitting about everything, even life itself; and the Millers, including foulmouthed Renee, who flirts with Jimmy in one timeline and sleeps with Crighton in another.
  • In a parallel timeline, Ursula joins the ARP, or the Air Raid Precautions Department, where she works with Mr. Durkin, whom Ursula is always correcting; Miss Woolf, who becomes one of Ursula's dearest friends until she dies in a rocket attack in 1944; Herr Zimmerman, a German refugee, and Mr. Simms, a veteran, both of whom are killed; Mr Armitage, an opera singer; Mr. Bullock and his entourage of strippers, including Stella; and Mr. Emslie, the grocer who calls all female blitz victims "Susie" because he had a daughter by the same name (25.331).