Atwood, Margaret "The Blind Assassin" - 2000
A book within a book within a book. Three stories for the price of one. Sounded good. Plus, it is written by Margaret Atwood. I wanted to read more of her writings ever since I discovered "The Handmaid's Tale". It was worth the wait but I know I won't wait that long to read her next novel.
This novel is a love story. No, it's a science fiction book. Or is it a murder mystery? It's a mystery for sure. We get snippets of the narrator's life through newspaper articles, she is telling us her life as it is today and what it was when she was young. But then there is also the book by her sister in which two lovers meet and tell a third story, this one is definitely science fiction. Anyway, you have the feeling they belong together and it didn't take me that long to find out who was who but it still was terribly exciting.
It is hard to describe the book without giving too much away, so I will just say this:
Margaret Atwood has a certain style where she makes everything mysterious, she can linger on a story in order to build suspense as well as using the most wonderful words and notions in order to make her work beautiful.
Need I say more? I loved the book.
From the back cover:
"The novel opens with these simple, resonant words: 'Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off the bridge.' They are spoken by Iris Chase Griffen, sole surviving descendant of a once rich and influential Ontario family, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.
What makes this novel Margaret Atwood's strongest and most profoundly entertaining is the way in which the three wonderfully rich stories weave together, gradually revealing through their interplay the secrets surrounding the entire Chase family - and most particularly the fascinating and tangled lives of the two sisters. The Blind Assassin is a brilliant and enthralling book by a writer at the top of their form."