The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood

YAAAAS. Margaret Atwood is my queen. The Blind Assassin requires a lot of stamina as a reader (so I can’t even imagine what it was like writing it), and I read it slowly over the course of several months (with several breaks). I finished it last week and I am still completely stunned.

This book probably isn’t for everyone. It’s slow-paced historical fiction with a dystopian story-within-the-story. It’s bleak, full of despair, and it’s basically one big sad experience. But in the BEST WAY. Atwood is a brilliant writer, and every sentence is a treat.

There are about five narrative strings in this book, which constantly switch and overlap. I won’t say much, because I think it’s best to go into this book, um, blind. At its core it’s the story of two sisters, Iris and Laura Chase, who grow up in the vague opulence of a manufacturing family between world wars; they’re each grasping for lives of their own. The story-within-the-story is The Blind Assassin, a novel about ill-fated lovers.

The Blind Assassin is a massive, delightful puzzle. And it’ll make you feel things.

-M

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