This was the first novel by Atkinson I have read, so I had no preconceptions or expectations of her style or wheelhouse.
Yay for blank slates!
Ursula Todd is born on February 11, 1910. And she dies immediately as the umbilical cord is wrapped around her throat. Now suspend disbelief. As the novel wouldn't be much if this were the only story our heroine had to tell.
Without explaining how (the reader just has to accept it), the world sort of resets, and Ursula Todd is born on February 11, 1910 and just as her tiny soul begins to slip from her being, a well-placed pair of scissors cuts the cord from around her neck. She lives.
Each time Ursula dies, she is transported back to whatever junction in her life led her down that path. Sometimes, these lives span years. Even decades. Until Ursula finds the "right" path for her life. Surviving both World Wars in a myriad of ways, Ursula grows despite reliving the same years repeatedly.
Without any wu-wu or hubabaloo, Atkinson creates and recreates a strong female protagonist and a compelling story.