I feel a little bad rating this only three stars, but I rate on enjoyment, and Alias Grace took me two months of slogging to finish. Even though it’s a good book and under different circumstances I might have liked it more (and perhaps I will re-read?), I just was not in the mood for reading it. At all. So, three stars.
I mean, seriously, it’s not the book’s fault that most serious fiction makes me anxious right now. Or that all I want to do half the time is read Sherlock fanfiction* (I’m not joking when I say I would have at least half-Cannonballed by now if you replaced all the fanfic I’ve read over the past three weeks with books). It’s not this book’s fault that all my brain wants is fluff and comfort and brainlessness.
*Please don’t judge me for my fanfic addiction and subsequent confession. This is a safe space, right? Otherwise I would be like WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT WHAT IS FANFIC I DON’T READ THAT. Also it would help if everyone who reads fanfic would tell me so I can feel validated. I know badkittyuno at least has my back.
Okay, but so, this book: I picked up this book for a reason, actually. I’d only ever read one Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale, even if I have read it twice. Well, okay, also her book of poems. But I forget about poetry mostly so I don’t want to count it. I’d never even heard of this book until I heard Netflix would be filming it, and something about it piqued my curiosity and I immediately put it on hold at my library. I read the first fifty or so pages with little trouble, but then I kept just not wanting to read it.
I’m not exactly sure what I expected from this book, but it wasn’t what I got.
Alias Grace is based on actual events in Canada and Ireland in the 1800s. Grace Marks along with her fellow servant James, murdered their master, Thomas Kinnear and his pregnant housekeeper (who was also his mistress). But Grace has no memory of committing the crime. The novel begins years after the murders have occurred. Grace spends most of her time as a hired out servant from the prison, in the home of the prison governor and his wife, who treat her as a showpiece. The meat of the novel is spent with a young alienist (therapist) who interviews Grace for her version of the story. She ends up telling him about her entire life.
There’s lots of stuff crammed in here I’m sure if I’d spent more energy on it, I would have appreciated: Stuff on identity, woman’s place in history, social class . . . but I just couldn’t.
Any of you guys read and enjoyed this?