Study Guide

Life After Life Chapter 6

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Chapter 6


June 1914

  • A man named Mr. Winton is painting a beach landscape, but he decides to put some figures into his painting when he sees two little girls playing in the surf.
  • When the girls wander too far into the ocean, Mr. Winton jumps in and saves them.
  • They return home, and Hugh has a surprise for them: an engine in the basement, which generates electricity. Let there be light.
  • Later, Sylvie sits with her friends who have come to see her new baby, Teddy.
  • Maurice, the oldest, is a troublemaker, and Sylvie is glad that he'll be sent away to boarding school soon.
  • Hugh comes out, and they all have tea together, when the topic of conversation has turned to war: Austria has declared war on Serbia.
  • A few days later, Sylvie, Bridget, and the girls walk across the fields to watch the harvest be brought in.
  • The cook, Mrs. Glover's son George, is helping, and Bridget has a crush on him.
  • They bring him a pork pie for lunch and eat their own lunch on the grass while they watch him harvest.
  • He brings them two baby rabbits to take care of, and they return home, tired and a little sunburned.
  • Their neighbor's boy, Benjamin Cole, found a bird's nest, and Maurice breaks open the eggs.
  • Pamela tries to break open her stupid brother's head with a rock.
  • While Old Tom, the gardener, digs a trench for asparagus, Pamela and Ursula make a nest in the corner of the garden for their little bunnies.
  • The bunnies don't last long, though, and are soon eaten by foxes.

January 1915

  • Hugh is away at war, and he sends Sylvie letters as often as she can.
  • At home, Bridget has a crush on Sam Wellington, who sends her postcards while he's at war, too.
  • All the women have been knitting furiously for the cause.
  • Rumors are spreading that the Germans are eating babies as the war closes in on England.
  • The family has to spend Christmas without Hugh, so they send him a large care package full of cakes, peppermints, cigarettes, and whisky. What else could a man need?
  • Ursula gets a knitting doll for Christmas, named Queen Solange. (Bow down.)
  • Maurice, pretending to be a "Red Indian" (racial sensitivity not being a thing in 1915), chucks Queen Solange out a window.
  • Ursula climbs out the window to retrieve her, slips on the ice, and falls to her death.
  • And guess what? "Darkness fell" (6.159).

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