Kirsten's Reviews > The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Apr 26, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2008, xx-chromosome
Recommended to Kirsten by: Meghan

I wasn't completely thrilled with the narrative structure of this novel: the book is broken into sections with the three primary characters explored in sequence in each section. This approach began to seem a little lumbering to me, and also a bit repetitive. However, in the middle section, events really took off and I found myself engrossed, then distanced again in the final 60 or so pages as things were wrapped up.

At first my hackles were raised at the thought that the biggest trespass one woman might commit against another would be to "take" her man. C'mon, I thought, that's not the only thing worth losing! That's not the sole possession that gives value to a woman's life! As I read on, however, I saw that I wasn't giving Atwood enough credit. Her book is a much more incisive look at evolving 20th century gender roles, or "the war of the sexes," as the dust jacket so eloquently puts it. Zenia is also a villain for betraying the trust of friendship, after all - a trespass that goes beyond mere sex. I am reminded of a line from Anne Sexton's poem: "we have all been her kind."

Oh, and one more thing - I would like to read a book someday where the femme fatale is fatale for other reasons than intimidating beauty leveraged as power.
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Mikey I love this book but agree about the rigidly parallel structure. Did we need to know, in exact order, so many details about each women's upbringing?

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