Read: November 2017
It’s 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.
An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories?
Captivating and disturbing, Alias Grace showcases best-selling, Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood at the peak of her powers.
I haven’t read a lot of Margaret Atwood, maybe 4 or 5 books now, but I am so interested to read more of her writing. Whenever I pick up one of her books, I just fall in love with her writing and I can see why she’s one of the top authors in Canada.
I picked up this book while getting a new copy of The Handmaid’s Tale. The series for The Handmaid’s Tale was to be coming out on CBC soon and I lent out my original copy of the book, so I wanted to get a new one. Next to it was Alias Grace so I thought I’d get that one, too, even if it looked like a chunker. Then the series came to CBC and I PVR’d the whole thing and still hadn’t read the book so when Tome Topple came around at the end of November, I just had to pick it up because I’m so bad at saying I’m going to read books before their movies or TV shows come out and then I don’t, and I miss out on both.
So I started Alias Grace and just as always, I remembered why I love Margaret Atwood’s writing. I feel like she could rewrite the phone book and I’d still want to read it because not a lot does happen in this book. The premise is about Grace Marks (a real life murderess who this book is fictionalized about) murdering her employer and his mistress, but a lot of this book deals with Grace’s life and how she came to work for this employer and then her thoughts on what happened. But it’s just so enjoyable and readable that I loved picking it up to read. It’s nearly 600 pages and it still flew by (well, it still took me at least 10 days or so to read) and I had to pick up a few more of Atwood’s books about midway through.
I think the thing I loved most about this book is that it was written about a real-life person and so when I finished it, I had to do more research on Grace Marks, which I love. It’s always great when a work of fiction opens up other avenues of reading and research. I also really enjoyed the historical part of this book, learning more about how women were treated back in this age, especially the hired help. I think the only thing I wished was to learn more of what happened to Grace’s family since she leaves them early in her story and we don’t hear anything about them after that.
It was great that this book made me so much more interested in reading more Margaret Atwood. I love that she has so many books available and I look forward to working my way through them in 2018.