1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Better than I expected - a lot,
This review is from: Alias Grace (Hardcover)I usually flick through a book when I'm considering reading it. I do this to check the font size, the length of the paragraphs, and other such things unrelated to the stories themselves. The thing I noticed flicking through Alias Grace is that the dialogue is not in speech marks. This seems to be the case when a book is trying to be different, cutting edge, cool. However, it works here, because of the first-person narrative and because it fits Grace Marks' voice.
Grace Marks... She is every bit as captivating as I hoped she would be. Her voice, raw and sing-songy, poetic even, reminds me of that in Sebastian Barry's novels. The plot of the novel is strong and doesn't meander off course, but it's Grace's voice that brought it into the 5-star arena.
I was somewhat apprehensive about starting an Atwood novel. They have glared at me from the bookshelf for some years, and in the end I plumped for Alias Grace because it looked the more accessible one. Because I think that's our usual assumption, that historical fiction is going to be somehow easier to digest. Like John Fowles in The French Lieutenant's Woman, however, Atwood takes it out of the genre, creating something grown up, unpadded but readable. Alias Grace makes other creations in the genre hang their heads in shame.