Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

June Books 18) Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood

Interesting character exploration of a woman imprisoned for murder in mid-19th century Canada, and her encounter with an early psychiatrist who tries to get to the truth of the crime; yet in a sense he is also imprisoned, by the sexual mores of free society. Grace knows herself to be an unreliable narrator, and part of the attraction of the book is the way she works through it.

Atwood has gone to a great deal of trouble to reconstruct Canada in 1843, when the murders took place, and 1859, when the doctor tries to treat Grace. I was perhaps unreasonably miffed that she made no serious attempt to give Grace a developed background in Northern Ireland - just a village around a harbour near-ish to Belfast. It totally failed to ring true to me. I would like to think that Northern Irish writers who set parts of their books in Canada generally try a bit harder.
Tags: bookblog 2011, writer: margaret atwood
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