Study Guide

Life After Life Chapter 18

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Chapter 18


February 1947

  • Ursula walks the streets, which are covered in ice, wondering if this is the beginning of a new Ice Age.
  • She trudges upstairs to her apartment, which is "Dickensian" (18.5) in its dinginess (i.e., long-winded and full of about 723 tenants).
  • A care package from Pammy is waiting for her: cabbages, potatoes, eggs, and, most important, a bottle of whiskey.
  • Ursula lights the gas fire, unpacks the box, and listens to the radio while she waits for the water to boil.
  • She remembers things that have happened in the last thirty years: her mother's suicide, the end of the war, lost friends, getting her mind off things by shopping at Selfridge's.
  • The boiled egg is yummalicious, and Ursula inscribes a thank-you postcard to Pammy to mail the next day.
  • Then the power goes out.
  • Ursula crawls under the blanket to sleep. She's very, very tired—and she wonders if the smell of the gas will wake her if the pilot light goes out.
  • It doesn't… and "Darkness begins to fall" (18.38).

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