Sunday, January 17, 2010

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Published: 1996
Pages: 500-ish
Genre: Historical Fiction
Set in the 1800s, Alias Grace is the story of a sixteen year-old Irish girl who immigrates to Canada to work. She ends up being employed at the home of a wealthy man, his maid and his stable boy. Grace gets tangled up in a web of greed, sexual desire, and two brutal murders that she might of helped commit. After these events, Grace is taken to various jails and penitentiaries to spend the rest of her life. It is unknown as to whether she committed these crimes due to Grace's inconvenient memory loss. Alias Grace is the eerie and chilling story inspired by the true events of this young girl's life.
This was my first Margaret Atwood novel and I think it sparked an interest for me in her writing! To be honest, I probably wouldn't have picked this one off the shelves on my own. I chose it for my English project at school (we had to read a Canadian novel) and I'm so thankful for that decision.

I think what really captured me about this book was the fact that it was based on actual events from Canadian history. I found Atwood's writing style to be very simple yet effective for this type of novel. I know that sounds cliche, but it's the only was to describe it! Grace's narrative was so innocent and it truly made you wonder if you can trust all that she says. Personally, I love it when you have to form your own opinion of the characters in a book; their life and personality isn't obviously displayed. Plus, it wasn't only Grace doing the talking - the point of view switched from her to Dr. Jordan, a doctor working with Grace. Atwood also included real sketches, poems, newspaper clipping and more to further emphasize the realness of the story and of the characters.

I highly recommend this book to those who don't crave action and adventure on every page. If you can fully get immersed in the story like I did, I guarantee that you'll find it very enjoyable. Alias Grace stayed in my thoughts long after I finished, and I believe that's the sign of a great book!

Final verdict: Must-read

No comments: