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review 2018-03-05 17:02
Alias Grace / Margaret Atwood
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?

 

I read this novel to fill the A in my Women Authors A to Z reading challenge and a “Book about a villain or anti-hero” for my 2018 PopSugar challenge.

For me, Margaret Atwood rarely disappoints and Alias Grace was no exception. Despite the fact that I’m recovering from a nasty cold and need all the sleep that I can get, I found myself up after bedtime, obsessively following the life of Grace Marks. Atwood has taken a historical figure and told her story—sticking to the facts, but embroidering around them in a beguiling fashion.
The themes are timeless—who is telling the truth? Whose truth? Who are we to believe? Does the justice system really offer us justice? Who gets to decide?

Though much of the novel is seen through Grace’s eyes, I still didn’t feel like I knew her well enough to judge—did she assist with the murders or was she merely an accessory after the fact? All of the might-have-beens weighed heavily on me. If only she had chosen this path or that one, things might have been so different.

A truly engrossing story.

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text 2018-02-22 19:20
TBR Thursday
A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel - Marlon James
Bellevue Square - Michael Redhill
An Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret Rogerson
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman
Vlad: The Last Confession - C.C. Humphreys

So, I am home from a rather unpleasant trip to Taiwan.  The weather was unseasonably cold (yes, its winter, but it doesn't usually get so cold and wet and gray).  The birds were thin on the ground.  Most of Taiwan is not set up to deal with cold weather, so there was no heat on our bus, in our hotels or in the restaurants that we ate in.  My cold weather clothing got a lot of wear and could probably crawl to the washer itself at this point!

 

To make an unpleasant trip worse, I caught a nasty cold halfway through, complete with hacking cough.  Staying in cold, uncomfortable hotels did nothing to help.  Also, our ground agent (who ordered the food for us) didn't seem to care if we actually liked the food he was providing.  I can't tell you how many evenings at the end I just ate a couple of bowls of rice and decided I'd eat when I got home. 

 

So I've been under the weather for over a week even when I made it home to my nice soft bed in my warm house and where I get to choose the menu.  I've even been too groggy to have much interest in reading, something which is completely unlike myself.

 

So it is with great relief that I find myself feeling better and ready to tackle my stack of library books!  I'm going to hear Marlon James at a guest lecture next week, so I am plugging away at A Brief History of Seven Killings.  I'm finding it slow going, but I think I'm finding the rhythm and expect to make a dent on it this weekend.

 

Bellevue Square is not what I expected--I hope to finish it off tonight or tomorrow night.  I'm reading it for the B in my alphabetical title challenge.  Alias Grace will count toward both my Female Author A to Z challenge and my PopSugar challenge (a book about a villain or an anti-hero).

 

Then I get to treat myself to An Enchantment of Ravens and The Lost Plot, two books that I've really been looking forward to.  Plus get introduced to Wodehouse's Jeeves in The Inimitable Jeeves

 

And finally, Vlad : The Last Confession is by a new favourite author, Chris Humphreys, who I met at a convention last summer.  I recommended that our public library acquire the book and it has finally arrived!

 

Its still cold here in Calgary and we've had a pile of snow, so I will quite happily hide in my house this weekend, cuddled up with my books.

 

 

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review 2018-01-25 12:08
Mixed bag.
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood

This had really brilliant parts. And a lot of boring stuff.

 

All written very well, but it was a very long read. And it felt that way.

 

What also didn't help was the different layers of the story, Grace's own story would have been fascinating enough without Dr. Jordan's life story etc. - it nearly felt like a totally different and remote story. 

 

The end felt abrupt and kind of disappointing - it felt like a long climb and then no view...

 

I guess it was clear from the beginning that there would be no conclusion as this is an unsolved crime in real life. Maybe my expectations were too high.

But I felt dissatisfied after finishing it.

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text 2017-12-03 13:49
My November 2017
Der Fledermausmann: Harry Holes erster Fall - Jo Nesbø
alias Grace: Roman - Margaret Atwood,Brigitte Walitzek
Elias & Laia - Die Herrschaft der Masken - Sabaa Tahir,Barbara Imgrund
Der Fledermausmann - 5 stars
Alias Grace - 5 stars
Elias & Laia - Die Herrschaft der Masken - 4 stars

 

Favorite book(s) of the month: Everything I read.

 

Books started this month but haven't finished yet: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Sündiges Spiel, Der Himmel in deinen Worten

 

November has been terrible. In life and in the reading world. I have so much going on at the moment that I can't really stay focused on a book. I keep reading and reading but I can't seem to finish any books. It's driving me up the wall. On the other hand, I may not have finished many books last month but the ones I finished, I truly loved and enjoyed. So Quality over quantity, right?!

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review 2017-11-23 15:11
Alias Grace!!!
alias Grace: Roman - Margaret Atwood,Brigitte Walitzek

German and english review

First things first: I received this book through NetGalley.

 

Ich liebe dieses Buch, ich liebe den langsamen Anfang, ich liebe die Art wie das Buch erzählt wurde, ICH LIEBE DIESES BUCH EINFACH. Es gehört eindeutig ganz oben auf meine Liste meiner Lieblingsbücher, die ich dieses Jahr gelesen habe.

 

Inhalt: Toronto, 1843: Das junge Dienstmädchen Grace wird mit sechzehn des Doppelmordes an ihren Arbeitgebern schuldig gesprochen. In letzter Sekunde wandelt das Gericht ihr Todesurteil in eine lebenslange Gefängnisstrafe um. Sie verbringt Jahre hinter Gittern, bis man sie schließlich entlässt. Im Haushalt des Anstaltdirektors begegnet sie dem Nervenarzt Simon, der ihrer Geschichte auf den Grund gehen will: Ist Grace eine gemeingefährliche Verbrecherin oder unschuldig? Margaret Atwood hat einen Roman von hypnotischer Spannung geschrieben, der die Geschichte einer realen Gestalt, einer der berüchtigtsten Frauen Kanadas erzählt.

 

Man muss wirklich Geduld mit dem Buch haben, es geht langsam vorwärts aber es lohnt sich ungemein dran zu bleiben und wirklich jeden der langsamen Momente auch zu genießen. Der Schreibstil ist knallhart und beschönigt, das Leben um diese Zeit absolut nicht, gerade das Leben einer Frau.

 

Grace!!! Ihr Leben ist tragisch und das nicht erst seit dem sie ins Gefängnis gekommen ist. Ihre ganze Familiengeschichte, die Art wie sie aufgewachsen ist, wie sie ihre Mutter verloren hat, das Verhalten ihres Vaters. Einfach alles. Dann kommt ein bisschen Sonnenschein in ihr Leben, wenn sie durch ihre Anstellung auf Mary Whitney trifft und sich eine Freundschaft zwischen den beiden Mädchen entwickelt. DIESE FREUNDSCHAFT, war alles für mich. Freundschaften zwischen Frauen sind immer ein absolutes Plus für mich, egal in welcher Geschichte. Und die Beiden hatte sich wirklich gesucht und gefunden. All die FEELS!!!!

Mehr will ich eigentlich garnicht verraten, weil ich denke, dass man am Besten alles langsam erfährt, wie in dem Buch geschrieben, statt einfach alles in einer Buchbewertung zu lesen.

 

Ich kann es wirklich nur jedem empfehlen!!!

 

***

 

I love this book, I love the slow star, I love the way the story was told, I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK. It pretty much saved the top spot in my list of favorite books I read this year.

 

Summary: Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?

 

You seriously have to be patience with this book, it's set at a very slow pace but it's so worth to just keep going and to actually enjoy the slower moments. The writing style is brutal and doesn't sugar coat anything when it comes to the tough life back than, especially for a woman.

 

Grace!!! Her life is tragic and not just when she is getting arrested. Her whole backstory, the story with her family, how she grew up, how she lost her mother, how her father treated her. Everything. Then her life gets much better, when she finds her first employment, meets Mary Whitney and when these two girls start becoming friends. THAT FRIENDSHIP, was everything for me. Friendships between women, no matter what story, is always a huge plus for me. And these two, they were so good for each other. JUST ALL THE FEELS!!!!

 

I don't really want to say much more, cause I think it's best to figure things out and read the story slowly, just like in the book, instead of having everything written out in the book review.

 

I jut very highley recommend it!!!

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