Monday, June 8, 2009
WEEK 22 - ALIAS GRACE
"Alias Grace" by Margaret Atwood
(from the inside flap)
In the astonishing new novel by the author of the bestsellers The Robber Bride, Cat's Eye, and The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood takes us back in time and into the life and mind of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteeth cenury. Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, the wealthy Thomas Kinnear, and of Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistres. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence after a stint in Toronto's lumatic asylum, Grace herself claims to have no memory of the murders.
Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story, from her family's difficult passage out of Ireland into Canada, to her time as a maid in Thomas Kinnear's household. As he brings Grace closer and closer to the day she cannot remember, he hears of the turbulent relationship between Kinnear and Nancy Momtgomery, and of the alarming behavior of Grace's fellow servant, James McDermott. Jordan is drawn to Grace, but he is also baffled by her. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories! Is Grace a female fiend, a bloodthirsty femme fatale! Or is she a victim of circumstances?
As I said before, this was a really hard book for me to read. The whole book is of Grace telling her story from the time she leaves Ireland. She is telling Dr. Jordan her life story. I must admit it got kind of boring along the way. But about 1/2 way through it kind of picked up and I really wanted to find out what happened to Grace, Dr. Jordan, Jamie(who is a young man who testified against Grace at her trial and was employed by Thomas Kinnear), and of course Jeremiah, the peddler. If you happen to read this book, don't give up on it. It gets better!!