Alias Grace: A Novel Paperback – 1997
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“Brilliantly realized, intellectually provocative and maddeningly suspenseful.”
“Atwood confirms her status as the outstanding novelist of our age.”
–Sunday Times (U.K.)
“Atwood not only crafts an eerie, unsettling tale of murder and obsession, but also a stunning portrait of the lives of women in another time.”
“A masterpiece…perhaps Atwood’s best, most important novel to date.”
“A great book of such wit, wisdom and dazzling storytelling that it leaves me in no doubt that Atwood is the most outstanding novelist currently writing in English.”
–Sydney Morning Herald
“Atwood’s humor has never been slyer, her command of complex material more adept, her eroticism franker.…This is a stupendous performance. . . .”
“[Atwood] has surpassed herself, writing with a glittering, singing intensity.…”
–New York Review of Books
“Stunning.…Atwood is in perfect control. And her fusion of real events and fiction is as contemporary as it is ingenious.”
“A rare and splendid novel that pulls you in and won’t let go.…”
–Washington Post Book World
“Atwood’s imaginative control of her period flows, irresistible and superb.…[She] has pushed the art to its extremes and the result is devastating. This, surely, is as far as a novel can go.”
–Independent on Sunday (U.K.)
“Seductive, beautifully articulated.…Brilliantly conceived and executed.…”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“A sublime read.…As satisfying as the best whodunit.”
–London Free Press
“An absorbing and brilliantly told story.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From the Publisher
"Brilliantly realized, intellectually provocative and maddeningly suspenseful."
"Written by a great novelist whose capacity to surprise, to challenge and to infuse her fictions with the surge and pulse of existence never fails."
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Top Customer Reviews
What makes Margaret Atwood's novel so compelling is that much of what happens in _Alias Grace_ is based on true accounts of Grace Marks' life, which is seamlessly and expertly adapted by Ms. Atwood. She readily admits in her afterword "where hints and outright gaps exist in the record, I felt free to invent." Ms. Atwood is a master storyteller. Her Grace Marks is very much a three-dimensional, flesh and blood 19th century woman. The public's beliefs about her parallel many of the widely held views of females of her time. While many imagined Marks to be weak and easily led astray by a stronger and more wiley older man (Marks was only 16 at the time of the murders), others saw Marks as an evil and jealous temptress who entrapped a gullible man into the killings.Read more ›
In the beginning of the novel, the reader discovers that Grace has been convicted for involvement in the murders of her former employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper and mistress, Nancy Montgomery. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no recollection of the murders. Some people believe her innocent, while some people believe her evil or insane. However, as an up and coming expert in the field of Psychology, Dr. Simon Jordan is determined to uncover the truth. Throughout her sessions, Grace discusses various quilt patterns which Atwood uses as symbols. One pattern in particular Grace claims to be her favorite, "The Tree of Paradise". This quilt pattern serves as the symbol of her dreams and goals, for as long as she is a prisoner, she must only sew what she is told. Her perception of the quilt changes throughout the novel, however. Toward the beginning, Grace desires "the vine border", symbolic of the vine which grew out of Thomas Kinnear's grave, whom she secretly loved. Yet, toward the end of the novel, Grace borders the Tree of Paradise with snakes appearing as vines which represent the serpent in the Garden of Eden, much like her love for Kinnear that inspired her participation in the murders. Furthermore, as Grace serves as a dramatic character throughout the novel, her perception of good and evil is changed.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A wonderful read! Love the historical look into Canada's history. I love learning more about our country this way.Published 12 months ago by Rita Minichiello
Sixteen-year-old servant Grace Marks is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear. (His mistress Nancy Montgomery was also murdered). Read morePublished 21 months ago by Debra Purdy Kong
This was an excellent book. I could not put it down. Excellent writing and research. I really enjoyed it.
A good buy.
I have never read Margaret Atwood before. She’s Canadian, after all, not a classical American or European author. But now I see, that was a mistake. Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2013 by Don G.
This was my book club choice, and I didn't like it at all. I couldn't seem to get into it.Published on July 8 2013 by helen roberts
I was utterly immersed and I didn't want this beautiful story to end.
One of Atwood's very best.
This story of Victorian age women done wrong, although true, is much too often told. I won't reveal the twists and turns, but, at least in the book on tape version, there are few... Read morePublished on March 27 2003
Alias Grace is an extremely well written, very entertaining tale of murder and deception. Although the story was hard to follow at times because of the changing time periods and... Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2002