Friday, April 11, 2008

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 641
Reason for Reading : Chunkster Challenge, Book Awards Reading Challenge, Man Booker Challenge, I love her other books that I have read

The story of Iris Chase and her younger sister Laura as told by Iris aged 83 along with a selection of newspaper clippings. Brought up at the beginning of the last century into a wealthy family in Canada, Iris is charged by her parents and housekeeper Reenie to take care of Laura who can be very literal about life. When their family starts heavily loosing money, their father's button factory is set alight and Laura's communist friend Alex Thomas is blamed. The girls hide him until he is able to escape and he is never forgotten by either girl.

Iris marries prominent businessman Richard Griffin in a bid to save her fathers business against her wishes aged 18. Him and his poisonous sister Winifred soon take over both hers and Laura's lives using them as pawns in their own games in their political endeavours. There are sections amidst the main storyline with two unnamed lovers who are meeting in secret. The man tells the woman a wonderful series of stories he makes up, my favourites were following the blind assassin and the girl from the temple.

It is typical Atwood storytelling with the plot jumping around from the present, to the past, to newspaper articles which tell you the end of the main story before you hear about how they all get there plus the unnamed lovers. There were some great twists and revelations at the end, and I didn't see all of them coming which is always good. It took a little longer than usual to really grab my attention, but I loved it once I started to get to know the characters more. That is Atwood's strength, her development of her characters especially the female ones.

Other reviews: Bold Blue Adventure; Can I borrow your Book and My Own Little Reading Room


~ames~ said...

I tried reading this. But I think I gave up too soon. That's too bad, as it sounds interesting.

Ana S. said...

I'm looking forward to reading this even more now. And thanks for warning us that the start is a bit slow, I'll make sure I remain patient until it grabs my attention.

Ladytink_534 said...

I really like the cover but the plot sounds kind of dizzying with all of the jumping around!

Kim L said...

I really liked this book after I got into it. It was slow going at first though, for sure. Glad you liked it too.

Stephanie said...

This is one of those books I always meant to read, but never did!! It sounds like you liked it.

By the way...a trip to Toronto sounds fantastic!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I agree that Atwood writes women well. I really liked this one--probably my favorite after Handmaid's Tale, but it took me a little bit to get into it as well. I just finished her The Robber Bride last night and am already thinking about which of her books I'll read next.

Jane said...

Sounds like a good book. It is hard to get into some of those long ones,but like you said, once you do, it just grabs you. Thanks for your review!

Kim L said...

I read this not too long ago, and I felt like you about this book being slow to get into. But wow, once I got into it, I was totally taken in. I still think about this book, because the characters, especially Laura, were so vivid. And even though I kind of started to suspect from the beginning that Richard was a jerk, boy when I got towards the end of the book my jaw dropped.

Anyhow, glad you liked this book. Great review!

Juli said...

Nice Review! I just finished The Blind Assassin a few days ago. We both agree it started slowly and then got going. It kept me guessing until the end

I'm doing the weekly geeks thing link thing. here is my link if you are still doing it.

I'm going to link to you if you don't mind.


Amanda said...

Yeah I agree. This one took me a while to get into as well. It took me two times to actually read the whole thing but at the end I thought it was worth it.