Cat's Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own id...more
It's a little tough-going to talk about this book, because the description makes it sound so Ya-Ya Sisterhood chick-lit. Girl/girl friendships, coming of age, an assembly-line presentation of messy sexual relationships, dadurdydurr. It's sad that a simple outline of the plot could potentially close off 50% (or more) of the population's interest in reading this book, because unlike her speculative fiction, this is less a plot-driven novel reveling in world-building, and more of a parade of...more
Simply put, I worship this book.
Cat’s Eye follows the controversial painter Elaine as she reflects upon her childhood and younger years when she returns to Toronto (the city of her youth) for a retrospective of her works. Her reflections stir up memories of friendship, longing, betrayal, love, hate, and pain. Especially haunting are her memories of Cordelia, a childhood friend with whom she had a co...more
Buffy: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?
Cordelia: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself.
(from Buffy th...more
Knowing too much about other people puts you in their power, they have a claim on you, you are forced to understand their reasons for doing things and then you are weakened.
I disagree. But I see how it can become someone's truth.
I have no words (well, in a manner of speaking) to describe my love for this book. I finished it really, really late the other night after a night out with some friends and was completely overwhelmed. It's taken me a few days to review it, just because of how emotionally devastating the book is.
Cat's Eye (from the almost-always-fabulous Atwood) is less a narrative than a glimps...more
Cat's Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a middle-aged artist who returns to the city where she grew up, Toronto, for a retrospec...more
It's not a country, okay? It's just some dude in Minnesota with a big back yard.
Glad we got that out of the way.
While not being able to immerse myself into the story as quickly or as deeply as The Handmaid's Tale, I found the book to instead be a slow burn, gradually drawing me in and not letting go until the end.
In Cat's Eye, Atwood's protagonist reflects on the development of relationships between women (girls) in all their complexi...more
Elaine's the most passive character in any book I can remember reading this year, and she's the protagonist and narrator to boot. She just sat around and waited for the book to happen to her, and meanwhile I'm readin...more
The story is mostly told in flashbacks. A woman comes to Toronto for a retrospective showing of her art. She hasn’t been there in many years, and now finding herself there she is awash in memories, especially those involving another...more
The way this book was structured was the most interesting thing for me: the past blending with the present, the present fading back into the past. Another interesting thing was the handle Atwood has on people -- specifically, little girls. I knew a Cordelia, a Grace, a Carol. An Elaine.
On the other, I'd say my actual enjoyment of this book was more of a 3.
This could be because this book is a book that should be devoured in one go and not, as I did, picked at.
Or because I'm a literary heathen.
If she remembers. Perhaps she’s forgotten the bad things, what she said to me, what she did. Or she does remember them, but in a minor way, as if remembering a game, or a single prank, a single trivial secret, of the kind girls tell and then forget.
She will have her own version. I am not the centre of her story, because she herself is that. But I could give her so...more
With full disclosure I have to admit this is not actually my first DBR, it comes in after both Ryker's Burden Kansas and Cohen's Beautiful Losers. Something about books I love apparently makes booziness happen, hmmmmmm....
There are times that I am loath to tell people where I'm from, not because I don't like it, I do!! Canada is a truly lovely place to live and I have been blessed with a life of much happiness here, it's because when I say I'm from Canada I always get that...more
Elaine is an artist in her late fifties/early sixties revisiting Toronto for the ope...more
I had difficulty getting into this book, and fought the urge to put it down and never resume reading until around page 300. Following the life of our fictitious narrator, I had difficulty finding something to which I could relate until she hit college age and became...more
This book is narrated by a middle-aged painter named Elaine Risley and it's about her life. That's it. There isn't any plot. Nothing 'happens'. Something keeps happening all the time, but not in dramatic terms. Although there is drama, here and there. But mostly, this is a book about reminiscence and coming to terms with your life. Doesn't sound very i...more
This is one of those books that I felt unprepared for. There is so much here. I became overwhelmed with the themes and commentaries and issues. So I focused on the story.
I loved reading about Elaine's childhood. I loved the description of the time, the scene, the day to day life of another generation. The children were fascinating in their meanness, a meanness I remember. Was I that mean? The idea that I may have been is heartbreaking. Once the mai...more
Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr...more