I read The Handmaid's Tale and liked it, so - when I saw this novel on the shelf - I decided to borrow it. It has left me slightly dissatisfied, to be honest. But let's begin with what I liked: the humor and the style, definitely. Atwood writes with such elegance and subtlety, you don't immediately realize that what you have just read is actually very funny and something that we all have experienced. The characters grow on you and page after page you want to know what is Ainsley or Marion going to do next. However, that said, I should also notice that in some parts the story really slows down and you wonder what is exactly the point being made. The male characters seem to be all flawed, in some way or another, all of them self-absorbed and demanding. But women are not always much better, they seem mostly to be scheming to get a husband or a father for their future child. The end also left me perplexed. I will not share it, but it seemed to me to be a complete anticlimax, as if there were after all no great secret or revelation at all. Marion, the protagonist, is first person narrator in the first and third part of the story, the central section is told by a third person, omniscient narrator. I am not sure I get the reason for this switch. I preferred to have Marion as narrator. However, overall this is a good book and it certainly makes one think about relationships and marriage, and how they can sometimes devour women. But please don't put too much trust in the cover's description of the story - that is partially inaccurate and probably led me to expect something that was not in the novel.
Reflections on relationships, identity and consumerism. I really enjoyed it.
I keep expecting there to be some element of fantasy throughout this book, but there never is. It's a strange take on relationships, marriage, engagement and how people change as their titles do. Pretty good.
Atwood wrote about eating disorders before anyone talked about eating disorders. Still think about the egg thing whenever I eat a boiled egg.
Atwood's first novel was not overly exciting and I did not feel compelled to finish the book, even halfway through.
This is a true original.
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