Melody's Reviews > The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Mar 30, 09

bookshelves: novels
Read in March, 2009

As always, Atwood is compelling and disturbing, a master of wit matched by theoretical and narrative power. The Robber Bride tells the story of Roz, Tony, and Charis, three old friends whose encounter with the toxic and destructive Zenia, the robber bride of the title, causes each to remember her history. Though Zenia played a destructive part in each woman's young life, it is their encounter as mature women that foregrounds Atwood's prowess as a Jungian psychoanalytic writer and theorist of the novel. As they process their own repressed histories, their fears, their relationships with Zenia, each woman comes face to face with a key question: Can we ever know the truth of our own stories? We can know experiences, sensations, and we can tell our stories, but are those stories the things that define us? To what extent do those stories make themselves true?

Like all of her works, this novel is a compelling page turner with powerful lines. My two favorites?
1) From Tony, the tiny female scholar who specializes in war: "War is what happens when language fails" (39).
2) From Roz, the powerful but insecure businesswoman: "Those in pain have not time for the pain they cause" (377).

While this isn't my favorite Atwood, if you're a fan, it's well worth the read.

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