Monday, July 07, 2014

Alias Grace

Alias Grace was brilliant.  Margaret Atwood created a world I fell completely into each time I opened the book.  Grace Marks was an intriguing, unique character.  Did she do it? Atwood doesn't judge, but gives the reader clues and information needed to make up their mind.  She created a sympathetic character in Grace.  I wanted so much for her to be innocent, but the more I got to know her, the more I knew the answer would be more complex than a simple yes or no.

Simon Jordan was an interesting character.  How much of what happened between him and Mrs. Humphreys did Atwood make up? How would she even verify any rumours?  I don't really want to know. While I enjoyed him as a vehicle for Grace to tell her story, I also enjoyed his own sub-plot.

I loved reading a story set in a place where I've lived (not the penitentiary).  I like that it's the city, but in the past, like looking through a lens backwards in time.  It's interesting hearing about the muddy streets of Toronto and the long journey from there to Richmond Hill.  It added an extra dimension that I found fascinating.
There was so much driving this novel.  The plot was flawless.  It was detailed, complex and reality based.  The characters were deep, varied and engaging.  The pacing was steady and quick.  I was surprised at how quickly I read it.  I fell completely into the story, from the descriptions of the penitentiary, to Mr. Kinnear's farm, to all of Grace Mark's inner dialogue.
I read Alias Grace as part of the Classics Club Spin.  The spin really encourages me to keep working on my Classics List.  You don't need encouragement though, to read Alias Grace.  It is Atwood at her finest.  It might be my new favourite Atwood.  We'll just see how I feel after I re-read The Handmaid's Tale.


  1. Anonymous7/7/14 21:12

    I've read a few negative reviews of this book lately, so I am glad to now read a positive one to balance it out. I'd like to read this one at some point.

    1. Negative? It is totally a favourite for me, but I guess Atwood isn't for everybody.

  2. Like you, Loni, I can't decide if Alias Grace or Handmaids Tale is my favourite Atwood.
    I'd love to find time to reread both :-)

    1. It's been much too long since I've read Handmaid's Tale. It's on my Classics list as a re-read. Ever since I finished Alias Grace, I've been wanting to pick it up.