Alison's Reviews > Surfacing

Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Jan 24, 2011

liked it
Read from January 05 to 22, 2011

I can't get enough of Margaret Atwood. This won't top my favorites list, but as usual I loved her prose and the almost mischievous peek into the darker side of humanity. She seems loathe to leave out the schoolyard and social scene bullies - characters who aren't evil in the strictest sense but whose petty and mean actions add up. In this story, they surround the protagonist to hinder and distract her from a dual mission of finding her father and reconciling with her past.

I appreciated the narrator's perspectives, including her reverence for nature and her outsider's view of society (even if her time line falls in a funny place of not-quite historical fiction, but slightly older than my mom!). I loved Atwood's thoughtful meandering through the character's mind, remembering bits of the past here and there to eventually fill in the big picture.

The huge change in the character's voice in Chapter 22 really surprised me. I felt like the author had first composed a "Lord of the Flies"-type short story, then wrote the first 200 pages of this book, and then tried to marry them. There was hardly any foreshadowing of this radical jump, and I mostly found it weird. Even still, I liked the last intriguing pages of the story where we get a glimpse of the character's next big choice. We know the dilemmas of each option.


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