Doug Bradshaw's Reviews > Alias Grace

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
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it was amazing
Read 2 times. Last read August 30, 2015 to November 12, 2015.

**Minor Spoilers**

This book is as close to time travel and walking in the shoes of another person as it gets, perfect historical fiction based on a fascinating actual case of a 15 year old girl thrown into prison for a double homicide. Most of the story comes in from two perspectives, Grace Marks herself telling her story to a young MD/psychologist working to see if he can get her released from prison, and then from the young physician himself listening to her story, never sure he can truly trust her, yet physically drawn to her, in the meantime having his own weird personal life that mirrors some of the things Grace herself has gone through.

The author's writing is so beautiful, so perfect for the era (mid 1800's) full of metaphors of the colors red, blue and white, the icy burial of Grace's mother at sea. There is attention to every little detail of the times, the smells, clothing, difficult working conditions of the servants and maids, the religious attitudes of the time, the early science of psychology, the conditions in the prisons, insane asylums, the gossip, the power of men, the sad position of some of the women, the life of the entitled and affluent versus the life of the unentitled, our little Grace, who has done an amazing job of surviving the dozens of trials of her life.

In the end, it doesn't really matter how involved she was or wasn't in the murders. What matters is that her spirit was never broken and she made it through extreme conditions with the help of some great people and she did it with Grace. I love Grace.

Throughout the book I was most happy that we now have air conditioning. I always laughed when Grace talked about certain people doing or saying "coarse" things. The relationship our little do good physician had with his landlady was hilarious and sad at the same time. Oh how we have mixed emotions and impulses as humans.

This was a great 5 star read for me and I'm so glad to find Margaret Atwood.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Paperback Edition)
August 30, 2015 – Started Reading
August 30, 2015 – Shelved
November 2, 2015 –
20.0% "I'm finally getting into this book. Wow, quality writing and great story."
November 7, 2015 –
50.0% "Incredible."
November 12, 2015 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
November 12, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Donna Terrific review, Doug! You liked this book more than I did, but you had me viewing it in a different way when you brought out what was best about it.


Candi Great review, Doug. I loved this book.


Doug Bradshaw Thanks, Donna and Candi. I could go into a lot more detail about why I loved it. A lot of simple things like her friendship with the peddler, Jeremiah/Dupont. How much fun was he?


message 4: by Elyse (new) - added it

Elyse Walters Holy Moly great frickin review, Doug!!!


Susan I've enjoyed reading your review, Doug....makes me want to re-read the book....


message 6: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Five stars! Glad you liked it so much, Doug. :]


Doug Bradshaw Susan, good to hear from you. Thanks, Elyse, and yes Caroline, definitely five stars. There are so many fun little nuances in her writing, double entendres, letters are so excellently written in different voices, characters so easily hurt and vulnerable sometimes, etc.


Glenn Sumi Great review, Doug! I've read about a dozen of Atwood's books, and this remains one of my favorites. Your review brought it all back to me!


Doug Bradshaw Glenn wrote: "Great review, Doug! I've read about a dozen of Atwood's books, and this remains one of my favorites. Your review brought it all back to me!"

Thanks, Glenn. What are a couple of your other favorites by her?


Glenn Sumi Doug wrote: "Glenn wrote: "Great review, Doug! I've read about a dozen of Atwood's books, and this remains one of my favorites. Your review brought it all back to me!"

Thanks, Glenn. What are a couple of your ..."


Hey Doug: I haven't read Cat's Eye, The Robber Bride or The Edible Woman yet (hope to read one of them before the new year), but I stand behind The Handmaid's Tale and (oddly enough) Lady Oracle, which I think is a very subversive look at genre. Others tend to really like her Booker winner, The Blind Assassin, but I don't think it's her best.


message 11: by Trever (new) - added it

Trever Polak Glenn wrote: "Doug wrote: "Glenn wrote: "Great review, Doug! I've read about a dozen of Atwood's books, and this remains one of my favorites. Your review brought it all back to me!"

Thanks, Glenn. What are a co..."


I wasn't getting into Cat's Eye or the Blind Assassin, but I thought The Edible Woman was great.


message 12: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Bradshaw I'm going to read the Handmaid's tale next.


Paige P I wrote my review, and then I read your review and wanted to go back & change my rating. You are right about the beautiful writing and capturing so much of that time period.


message 14: by Doug (new) - rated it 5 stars

Doug Bradshaw Enjoyed your review, Paige. One of those books I'm so glad I read.


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