Play Book Tag discussion

Cat's Eye
This topic is about Cat's Eye
32 views
Archive: Other Books > Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - 5 stars

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Joy D | 4595 comments Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - 5 stars

What are the long-term ramifications of being bullied as a child? Margaret Atwood’s brilliant literary fiction addresses this question from the viewpoint of an adult reflecting back on her life. Elaine Risley, an accomplished painter, has returned to her childhood home in Toronto for a retrospective exhibition of her artwork. When she was eight years old, she and her family settled in Toronto after living a nomadic life with her entomologist father and non-conformist mother, forming friendships with other girls for the first time. Elaine meets a trio of girls who, prompted by ringleader Cordelia, bully her relentlessly, causing lingering self-esteem issues. The first half of the book captures the intense pain of abuse by peers. The second half shows how this pain carries over into her adult relationships. Themes include memory, time, identity, pressure to conform, and the long-lasting impact of bullying. References to science, particularly biology and physics, add a layer of depth and meaning to those inclined to ponder the possible connections.

Atwood is adept at detailed descriptions of time (1940’s – 1980’s) and place (Vancouver and Toronto). The characters are well-drawn, believable, and evolve over time. She uses vivid language in the same manner an artist might uses vivid colors to evoke an emotional reaction. She has created a powerful narrative that conveys the importance of self-knowledge, avoiding pressures to conform (and to be liked), and making authentic connections to others. Unfortunately, children, and even young adults, often lack this self-insight and the ability to distinguish true friendships from abusive relationships. This novel spoke to me on a personal level. Content warnings include abortion, infidelity, self-harm, and emotional and physical abuse. Recommended to fans of literary fiction or character-driven novels that shed light on the human psyche.

Link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 2: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments My husband had to read this for secondary school and despised it! He is not a reader at all, much to my dismay. I’m hit and miss with Atwood, but mostly hit, and this does sound like it would appeal to me. Thanks for reminding me to get to it at some stage.


message 3: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments What a great review Joy
This book (and also Alias Grace) have been waiting for me for years - but every time I would pick either of them up I would find an excuse not to read. I think it’s time to read it.


Joy D | 4595 comments Susie, I signed up to read 5 of Atwood's books for a challenge this year. I was hit and miss also - two five stars and one two star. This one hit close to home for me, and I thought it was well crafted. Not sure what I would have thought of it if I read it in secondary school.

Idit wrote: "What a great review Joy
This book (and also Alias Grace) have been waiting for me for years - but every time I would pick either of them up I would find an excuse not to read. I think it’s time to ..."


Thanks, Idit! I had this book on my list to read for over a year. One of my friends read it and gave it a rave review, so thought I'd move it up the list.


message 5: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments What were the other four Joy? I’ve read and enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin, and Alias Grace, but I didn’t enjoy Oryx and Crake.


Diane Zwang | 485 comments I love Atwood. I have read three books so far and have liked them all. I think I would probably like this one based on your review.


message 7: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Susie wrote: "What were the other four Joy? I’ve read and enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin, and Alias Grace, but I didn’t enjoy Oryx and Crake."

I thought The Robber Bride was great. Enjoyable and insightful. (I vaguely remember not loving the last bit, but it didn't ruin the overall experience for me)

The Edible Woman is nice. not amazing but worth a read

and another small book of her that I liked and think is worth checking is The Penelopiad. It's part of a project where authors took famous old stories and did their own take on it. Atwood took the story of Odysseus return and focuses on his wife Penelope and her 12 maids


message 8: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments Thanks for your recommendations Idit. :-)


Joy D | 4595 comments Susie wrote: "What were the other four Joy? I’ve read and enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin, and Alias Grace, but I didn’t enjoy Oryx and Crake."

Susie, The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye were the two I rated highly. I did not care for Surfacing

I am still planning to read Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin before the end of this year.


message 10: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments I hope you like them. I found them both to be challenging but rewarding.


message 11: by Karin (last edited Jun 19, 2018 03:07PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Karin | 7458 comments Susie wrote: "My husband had to read this for secondary school and despised it! He is not a reader at all, much to my dismay. I’m hit and miss with Atwood, but mostly hit, and this does sound like it would appea..."

I didn't like this book at all, either. I'm hit or miss with Atwood, and by far usually it's a miss.


back to top