The war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and the national debt have given her cause for alarm and … Altough this can be understood as positive and it certainly is for a few things. Margaret Atwood satirises this aspect of our society as a co-product of globalisation.
I really, really wanted to like this book. I heard good things about it, and it has many elements I usually love in a novel: The protagonist, Margaret, grew up in a bookstore and learned to read using 19th century novels, and there are clear parallels in the story to Jane Eyre, Wuthering He Sigh.
The protagonist, Margaret, grew up in a bookstore and learned to read using 19th century novels, and there are clear parallels in the story to Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Turn of the Screw, and so on. And yet, with all it had going for it, somehow it fell flat for me.
Somehow it felt slight and, eventually, tedious at the same time.
There were definitely many interesting moments, but for some reason, the "gothic" elements of the story never swept me up in the passion and scandal the way it would if the Brontes or Wilkie Collins wrote it. Obviously this is an unfair comparison since the Brontes and Collins are my favorite writers, but then again, if you're going to model your story on Jane Eyre and indeed, there were parts that really beat you over the head with it, stating the obvious instead of allowing the reader to infer for herselfyou should be up to the task, right?
One of the problems, in my opinion, is that it seems Setterfield wanted a "Chinese box" construction ala Wuthering Heights, but whereas that novel drew me in and made me feel like I was personally sitting at Nelly's feet as she told me the story of Heathcliff and Cathy, somehow Setterfield's construction in which the novelist Vida Winter tells Margaret her story, and does so using third person, for a reason revealed later in the novel feels very distanced.
Margaret has a personal obsession which is supposed to parallel Miss the novel's term, not mine Winter's, but this obsession, for me at least, had me wishing Margaret would just get over it already. Miss Winter's story stops adding much new information at a certain point, and later we are given the diaries of a minor character, which essentially only goes over information we already know.
Yet despite this, the ending feels rushed, and the mysterious "thirteenth tale," which Margaret receives in writing toward the end, is only excerpted. Byatt had written this novel, as I suspect Setterfield may not have felt up to the task of writing "the thirteenth tale," which has a fascinating premise.
Byatt, I am sure, would have written a gorgeous tale to end the book with. That's the bottom line, I suppose: I just don't think Setterfield is that good a stylist. The story should have drawn me in but didn't, and I set it down to writing that simply wasn't as imaginative or lovely as it could have been.
With all of the wonderful Victorian-style writing going on now from former academics like Sarah Waters and AS Byatt, it's too bad this book didn't measure up.
I kept comparing it to the in my opinion wonderful The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, which is also a first novel by a former academic. The Historian has faults -- it's a little repetitious in certain points, it's unwieldly, there are some logic issues -- but it is so true to its Victorian predecessor Bram Stoker's Dracula in feeling, and it completely sucks you in pun intended.
I have discovered a personal preference: I would rather have an overlong, unweildy, messy wonderful novel that completely absorbs me than a shorter, tidier, but slight novel that doesn't touch me emotionally.
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It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation: Yes, we can. Essay about A Literary Analysis of Margaret Atwood's Happy Endings An essay last Sunday about Margaret Atwood’s Novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” misspelled the surname of the Canadian general who was the commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda at the time of the genocide in that country who later wrote a book about the episode.
Nominated for the inaugural Man Booker International Prize, which recognizes one writer for his or her outstanding achievement in fiction, Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty-five internationally acclaimed works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.