Townhouse Books

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cat's Eye : Margaret Atwood

Although I'd read a handful of Atwood books in the past, I'd always avoided this one because I didn't like the cover. Turns out the cover is a painting by the main character, a 50-something woman named Elaine Risley who returns to her hated hometown of Toronto for a retrospective of her work at a gallery. I still don't like the cover, but I loved this book. Part of the book is told from Elaine's present day, but most of the book centers around her twisted friendships with girls at age 9 and how those weigh on her as she grows and how she does or does not get past them. Atwood is a powerful thinker and writer, and she frequently would throw a random sentence at the end of a paragraph that would just stop me short with wonder, but felt like an idea that was just simple to her and off the top of her head. (I already returned the book to the library so sorry I have no examples.) She's great at imagery and pointed detail of the relationships, clothes, food, styles, marbles from the '40s and '50s such that I recommended it to my mother and my aunt this past weekend after listening to them reminisce about their school uniforms. I highly recommend to all.

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