Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

Tag: Alias Grace

Alias Grace

Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood

Atwood-fest continues! Although not as immediately readable as my last Atwood adventure, I’d still rate it. Obviously I now realise that Margaret Atwood doesn’t ever just write a story: This time she takes a real life figure from history and recreates her biography.

Grace Marks – sixteen year old murderess – tells her tale thirty years on but we never really know whether to believe her. I certainly wanted to… and yet, it wasn’t straightforward. I loved the snippets from newspaper articles and journals (which thanks to the author’s afterword we know are real quotations) that jumped in and guided us. It was very much a conscious building of an image, and yet there is still such an elusive quality to the novel. The subject matter was interesting and deservedly beautifully written. Another storytelling gem!

Alias Grace Quotes

“All the same, Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell to it, that word – musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: Murderess, Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor.”

“Out of the gravel there are peonies growing. They come up through the loose grey pebbles, their buds testing the air like snail’s eyes, then swelling and opening, huge dark-red flowers all shining and glossy like satin. Then they burst and fall to the ground.”

“He has been where they never could go, seen what they could never see; he has opened up women’s bodies, and peered inside. In his hand, which has just raised their own hands towards his lips, he may once have held a beating female heart.”