Book love: The Robber Bride

I'm a Margaret Atwood fan (haven't read every single book, but like her in general).  In college I wrote one of my favorite papers about The Handmaid's Tale. But The Robber Bride is my top choice.  I've read it at least 3 times.  And I still want to read it again.

The main characters are all women.  Named: Roz, Charis, Tony and Zenia.  And there are, of course, male characters, the shadows to the women's suns: West, Billy, and Mitch. I could love the book from the characters' names alone. But there's more... Her writing is so evocative.  I like a good story - but I LOVE a good story when it's written well. Her style is direct, but stimulating with words that come out of left field and yet never strike me as showing off.  Margaret Atwood writes poetry too, and it shows. Sometimes her turn of phrase is so striking. But her prose is completely controlled, edited within an inch of it's life.

The characters leap off the page - each one carefully crafted and unique.  Tony is a timid, tomboy history professor.  Charis is a sweet, fragile, gentle hippie.  And Roz is flashy, loud, nouveau riche, and emotional.  The story is told shifting between the perspectives of Roz, Charis, and Tony as their lives are intersected by the enigmatic, villainous Zenia. They are an unlikely trio, each so different, yet they form a strange bond.

The story leaps back and forth over time from current events to when the characters first encounter each other in the sixties.  It's not jarring, but it's an overlapping patchwork of stories that keeps it interesting.

And there is an element of mystery and suspense and curiosity that keeps you reading.

Have you read it?

1 comment:

  1. I have - thanks to you, the one who introduced me to Atwood to begin with. It's been awhile since I've read any of hers, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to ready Oryx and Crake this year. I want to start reading a book or two a year with my husband (we have wildly different tastes in books), and I think the sci-fi nature of this one makes it a good choice for that project.