Top critical review
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not as good as her others but still worth a read
on 27 August 2005
I am an Atwood fanatic, so for my birthday I received this book. I really wanted to read it, being one of her earliest books. The book I must say is rather good, even if it does lack the intrigue of her other, later and some would argue (I being one of them) better books.
As usual, Atwood is engaging in her witty narrative. There is humour, irony, sarcasm and pathos which is hard to find in other writers. Marian, I found to be an extremely interesting character as did I find Ainsley, although I couldn't help compare her to Moira in the first few chapters.
Some reviewers have pined that there is little action in this novel, and whilst this is an understandable objection to the book, what would they think if they ever read Woolf? Like Woolf (and even Lawrence for that matter), the object is not so much plot but rather character development. We come to know the characters intimately, with Atwood employing both 1st person narrative then 2nd person narrative, and come to an understanding of the protaganist's, Marian, sentiments and actions. This book is not meant to be a thriller (for that read Da Vinci COde) but rather an exploration into the female mind in the context of marriage, relationships, guilt, fornification and feminism.
So, in short, not as good as say Alias Grace or the sublime Handmaid's Tale, but definitely worth a read.