Alias Grace ~ Margaret Atwood

This book took me forever to get through, but it was still a great story.

This historical fiction novel reads like it was written in the nineteenth century. As such, it is flowery and uses far different wording than any modern tales. Each paragraph and dialogue is filled with detail, yet the overall action is slow moving. At times I found I had to read between the lines to pick up on important details that didn’t seem important at first glance. This was not exactly a pleasure read for me, but the story was intriguing.

Grace Marks is charged with murder, but she claims ignorance. Determined to get to the bottom of her case, Dr. Simon Jordan moves to her town and meets with her daily to try to uncover her missing memory. However, as life generally does, he finds his own life getting in the way of his research. His choice now is whether to continue his research or move on without knowing the truth of the matter. Grace, on the other hand, cannot just walk out of her life, as she is a prisoner for life unless proven innocent.

Grace’s story is about the role of women in society in the nineteenth century. It’s about who helps and believes women, and who ignores them. It is about the relationships between women, and how each woman sees the world. It is about coping mechanisms and developed behaviors. But the story is slow. The majority of the action has taken place long before the story is set, and the action that is written about is primarily a second-hand retelling by Grace herself or what’s found in letters between characters.

The end was surprising, and I appreciated the unveiling. I loved getting inside Grace’s shoes, although I must admit I don’t fully understand the entire intention behind the story.

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