Family secrets can date back generations and feelings of resentment can be carried over decades.
Iris Griffin is an elderly lady who is aware, that her time is coming to an end and in a final bid of reconciliation with her granddaughter, she writes her story. This is where Atwood’s talent really shows as this allows the reader to be drawn into Iris’s world using flashbacks to tell her story. The combination of layered narratives, positioned delicately within different timelines paints Iris’s world, full of secrets and deceit. As the book develops, the ghosts from Iris’s past come to life and tell not only Iris’s story but also show the true colours of who Sabrina truly is.
The sign of a good author is when you are transported from your world to the world the author has created. I found that when reading this book, whether it be on a sun lounger or my apartment, I was no longer a part of this world and instead in one that Atwood had created. I felt like I was floating above the scenes painted for me and could imagine the smell of the wood in the grand family home or the dust in the run down room where a women of higher class and her forbidden love affair stole small snippets of time together. Atwood’s words enable you to feel a connection with places and the characters within them that a lot of authors struggle to create.
Atwood’s talent of bringing together such intense, difficult structures and characters and places you yourself feel you know, shines through in this book. The twists and turns explain the difficult and weathered path of Iris’s life, while highlighting how other characters emotions and actions are so deeply connected to it.
Margaret Atwood’s: The blind assassin is both excellently written and creative. It is a novel that will make you laugh, feel and deepen your understanding of what unconditional love really means.