Ms. Library's Reviews > The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Jun 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, owned
Read from June 03 to 04, 2011

I finished The Robber Bride fairly quickly for its size. It is a well-written book that really explores the nature of women's power and their relationship to men. I have to say that normally I dislike books where there is an evil conniving character that ruins everybody's life. Simply put, most of the time, I think the characters are naive and they deserve it. "They are obviously fooling you! Can't you see past it! COME ON SIMBA! Scar is BAD!" (No, not The Lion King. I love The Lion King. My fervor for "Be Prepared" knows no bounds. However, you get the point.) However, this book didn't raise my ire. Atwood is a fantastic writer, and she portrays these women honestly. The fourth woman, the "robber bride" is Zenia. What a perfect name for a devilish woman, I have to say. Zenia is crafty and she preys on each women differently. You can see why they fall for her lines. For each one, she crafts a different back-story, a different problem, that they will find uniquely interesting to them. "Oh. She only trusts me! Her story fits with mine!" They fall because of their own arrogance, and also lack of self-assurance.

Its a beautifully told story. Atwood starts in the present, and then pedals backwards and forwards in ways that work with the narrative. I never felt jerked around or lost. She controlled her narrative, and she also managed to layer it in such a way that really got across the importance of some events. The splashes of feminism and war in the book really bring different shades to the story. One of my favorite parts is that she tells some encounters from each of the main character's perspectives (Charis, Tony, and Roz). She fits it uniquely within their perspective, and you gain knowledge of the other two. You also see what details everyone views differently, and that shows you more about the character. That is perhaps one of my favorite parts of this book. Atwood doesn't feel the need to tell. She shows and shades her characters well without having to list their personality quirks for you.

As a story about a conniving witch of a woman who tries to destroy three other women's lives, its quite a good one. I would definitely recommend it. Also, if you liked this, go read The Handmaid's Tale. They are both worth your time, and they are really engrossing. Well-written, well-characterized work is always appreciated. I'm glad there is another book by here on my shelf.

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Reading Progress

06/03/2011 page 243
52.0% "So far, this is fantastic. The characters are so well written, and Zenia is characterized so fully. I HATE HER. Which is the point. Plus, you can see why everyone is manipulated. Its not one of those books that you think, GOD CAN'T YOU SEE THROUGH THIS? No. She is a wily devil, that one."
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