Oh look, it’s another Margaret Atwood book that I devoured and adored. I know, I know, you’re all amazed.
“She wasn’t ready to settle down, she told her friends. That was one way of putting it. Another was would have been that she had not found anyone to settle down with. There had been several men in her life, but they hadn’t been convincing. They’d been somewhat like her table – quickly acquired, brightened up a little, but temporary. The time for that kind of thing was running out, however. She was tired of renting.”
Moral Disorder: and Other Stories is billed as a short story collection, but every chapter focuses on the same main character. Most of the chapters were written from a first person perspective, then later from third-person (which threw me off for a bit). So it’s basically a collection of stories about one woman’s life, without a real driving plot. So…not that much different from a Margaret Atwood novel.
The stories hop about in time quite a bit, but together, they create a clear picture of Nell, from a young girl in the 1930s to a grown woman in a relationship with a married man and his two children. Nell is not quite as…I’m trying to think of a nice word for “caustic” as the protagonist of the last Atwood book I read (Joan from Lady Oracle, who I loved). But she’s still an interesting character and I enjoyed learning about her.
Atwood books, for me, come down to her incredible story-telling. She’s woven a world around a character and she’s inviting the reader in. It’s impossible to resist.