Alias Grace

Posted by on Sunday, September 10th, 2006

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

This is a historical novel about Grace Marks, a 16 year old serving woman convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper in 1843.  Marks was originally from Northern Ireland, which alone could have forced me to read the book.  But she also lived in Canada, and I have a crush on Canada (even though Canada never, ever calls or writes–so aloof, darn Canada).

Marks became a bit of a celebrity over the case, and many theories arose about her possible insanity, demonic possession, or plain cold-hearted murderous tendencies.  She was eventually set free.

Atwood’s novel doesn’t set out to answer any of the remaining questions about the case, thankfully.  Historical novels that re-write history rarely rank high in my estimation.  Instead, Atwood plays with Marks’s motives, her memories, and her role in the midst of the controversy in her case.  We come away from the novel not knowing how honest or sane Marks was.  And that’s just fine with me.  It’s a great read. 

Filed in Books | One response so far

One Response to “Alias Grace”

  1. Corvuson 12 Sep 2006 at 6:26 am 1

    Atwood ranks as one of my favorite authors. Have you read Robber Bride and/or The Blind Assassin?

    Those are must reads.

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