Book Review: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

“When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.”

― Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

 Canadian author Margaret Atwood has written a historical fiction book titled Alias Grace. It was nominated for the Booker Prize and won the Canadian Giller Prize when it was first published by McClelland & Stewart in 1996.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

It's 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories?

My reaction to this novel...

I've had this book for a long time now, and honestly, I've tried reading it several times but I always get stuck at chapter 3. Every time I reach that chapter, I lose interest in continuing. I don't know why, but I really feel lazy to read it because there are parts without quotation marks, which makes it confusing and tiresome. It's only now that I decided to give it another try, and finally, I finished the story after many attempts. I enjoy reading this kind of genre, but with this particular book, I became too lazy to finish it. Fortunately, I was in the mood to read, so I was able to complete it.

This actually has a touch of a true-to-life story, but the author added her own creative twist. It also has a historical aspect, so if readers are fond of this genre, they will definitely be drawn in based on the synopsis. Personally, it piqued my interest enough to purchase it, especially since I enjoy reading historical fiction and the author is well-known. My expectations were high, so at first, I was disappointed because I couldn't finish it. The story was really dragging, and the book was too thick with too many pages. Honestly, I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it because I always feel that way whenever I start reading this book.

After finishing this book, I am still disappointed. It's because it was so long, yet the story turned out to be so simple. I had a different twist in mind, but the one that came out was just like that I am not satisfied because I was expecting a different ending. It's hard to believe that was the reason behind the main character's actions. It feels strange and lacking. Perhaps that's what happens in real life, but still, I feel unsatisfied.

It's incredibly implausible that the only way the main character could be released from prison after serving a lengthy sentence was the reason they discovered. They ought to have taken action sooner. And because of the consequence of what they did to the main character in order to discover the truth, they quickly trusted what she told them and concluded that it was not her who committed the crime. It really is that simple to clear the protagonist's name after all these years. It certainly doesn't seem realistic to me.

Anyway, I wasn't really happy with the story of this book. Unlike other books I've read that were psychological thrillers based on real life, I couldn't compare the boredom I felt while reading this one. I hope the author didn't drag out the story too much, because for me, there were many unnecessary parts that made the plot of this story boring. I wouldn't highly recommend it because I really didn't like the flow of the story, so I was really disappointed.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐(2/5)


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.