on May 23, 2001
Well I went to Canada and figured trying out a Margaret Atwood would be appropriate. This novel reminds me of good John Irving. It combines a healthy amount of plot to keep things moving, along with quirky / interesting characters that remain just normal and developed enough to avoid becoming farcical. Moreover, the narrator is a strong central figure that ties things together and keeps the book focused. Finally, the narrator goes through introspection and change, and Atwood gently guides the reader there via use of a "story within a story" that is never overbearing. I know I didn't pick up on all of the symbolism and "deeper meanings" of Joan, but I know I enjoyed being along for the ride with her. Very much recommended for the thoughtful reader.