Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I picked up this title when I realized that I hadn't read any Atwood at all in 2010. This was the first novel that she wrote, but it wasn't published until years later.
Marian, a modern young lady of the 1960s is working a dead-end job and dating a lawyer that has some kind of personal crisis and asks her to marry him. Because he is the prototypical perfect man, she accepts. But her subconscious is telling her that something is wrong, which manifests itself physically when one by one, she finds herself unable to eat certain foods. It starts with meat.
She starts hanging out with a really weird guy that is beyond self-absorbed, but at least honest. Duncan likes to live in a fantasy-land and as she is getting married anyway, she is perfect for him right that minute. There is also a subplot with a single roommate getting pregnant on purpose.
I spent most of the book thinking there is not one likable character there. Then Duncan started to grow on me. And by the end, I sort of empathized with Marian. A little.
For a first novel, it wasn't bad. Sort of self-consciously trying to make a statement. It seemed less dated toward the end, also. But seriously, this is so far gone from The Blind Assassin as to be almost from a different writer.