Day 14 –book from your favorite writer:
“The last time she'd seen him, when they'd gone back to his room - it was like drowning: everything darkened and roared, but at the same time it was very silvery, and slow, and clear.
This is what it means, to be in thrall.”
I love all of Margaret Atwood’s work, or at least all that I’ve read, perhaps with the exception of Bodily Harm but The Blind Assassin has always been my favourite. It’s a gorgeous gorgeous book, exquisite and precise in it’s execution; bleak yet uplifting; brutally truthful and heartbreakingly passionate with Atwood’s trademark real, honest and human characters. It’s just wonderful and a very clever puzzle of a story – multiple stories within stories beginning with the narrator, Iris who is now an old lady, telling us about the day her sister Laura drove her car off a bridge just after WWII:
“Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. The bridge was being repaired: she went right through the Danger sign. The car fell a hundred feet into the ravine, smashing through the treetops feathery with new leaves, then burst into flames and rolled down into a shallow creek at the bottom. Chunks of the bridge fell on top of it. Nothing much was left of her but charred smithereens.”In a nutshell – although please bear in mind it’s actually so much more complex than this - the novel works through Iris’s life from her childhood onwards and cleverly intertwines it with Laura’s only novel “The Blind Assassin.” It’s hard to explain this book, or why I love it, without coming across as being jumbled and confused because unless you’ve been there then you can’t begin to understand: reading summaries of The Blind Assassin do it no justice at all and to try and explain the whole concept of the story within a story; about Iris and about Laura; about the love story; about Iris’s every day life; about Laura’s posthumous novel, it all just ends up sounding like overly-complicated nonsense. It’s not. It’s a unique idea that only somebody of Margaret Atwood’s talent could pull off, and pull it off she certainly does. It’s phenomenal. If you haven’t read this, then please please do; it’s not the easiest book you’ll ever read, or the quickest but I bet it’s one of the most rewarding.
"She’s the round O, the zero at the bone. A space that defines itself by not being there at all. That’s why they can’t reach her, lay a finger on her. That’s why they can’t pin anything on her. She has such a good smile, but she doesn’t stand behind it."