By far my favourite author, Margaret Atwood had me at the first page of the Handmaid’s Tale which I read many years ago. I have been working my way through her novels ever since, albeit at a fairly slow pace…. I don’t want to finish them all too soon… in case she doesn’t write any more.
The latest one I opened up was Alias Grace – which I picked up at a Book Swap with the fabulous @BookElfLeeds – I picked up a real hoard of great books at her event….books in a suitcase…. ace!
Alias Grace has taken me a while to get through, but I really and truly loved it. I shy away from non-fiction, in favour of escapism – but this offered both of the above.
The main protagonist Grace Marks; is a historical figure who was made famous in the 1800’s by a brutal double murder, in which she was implicated. Atwood has based the novel on facts about the case and the fascinating Grace.
You are never really sure who to believe, when hearing the main voices of Grace and Dr Jordan, a psychologist who has been asked to ascertain her innocence (or otherwise) by a group of well-meaning church goers. At this point in the story Grace has been incarcerated for most of her adult life and seems to be devoid of emotion or regret – although she does suffer some very strange visions involving red peonies.
The novel is crammed with colourful detail about the places and people Grace has encountered and the events leading up to the infamous murder. Plus Dr Jordan is wrestling with his own personal demons whilst trying to help Grace – a figure becoming more enigmatic by the day to him, and also drawing him in to her world.
Leading Line: “Sometimes I whisper it to myself: Murderess. Murderess… it rustles like a taffeta skirt along the floor”
Read it if: You have an appetite for mysterious goings on, murder and creepy class conflict
Other Margaret Atwood’s I have read and LOVED!
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Cat’s Eye
- The Robber Bride
- The Year of The Flood