Alias Grace

Alias Grace

Book - 1996
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In her bestselling novel The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood masterfully took us to a chilling world of the future. In her astonishing new novel Alias Grace, she just as convincingly takes us back 150 years and inside the life and mind of one of the most notorious women of the 1840s. Grace Marks is serving a life sentence for her part in the vicious murders of Thomas Kinnear, a wealthy landowner, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Grace herself now claims to have no memory of the murders.Simon Jordan, a young New England doctor in the field of mental health and an expert on amnesia, has been engaged to find out the truth. To do so, he must awaken that part of Grace's mind that lies dormant, using the practices of the science he has such great faith in. As Grace reveals details about Kinnear's and Nancy's unconventional domestic arrangements, Simon brings her closer and closer to the day she has so determinedly repressed.Into this rich work of the imagination--of sex, violence, immigration, spiritualism, and the brutal existence of the underprivileged--Margaret Atwood has brought her brilliant insights into the relationships between men and women and those between the society of the entitled and those without positions. Superbly evoking a century past and alive with mesmerizing storytelling, Alias Grace is vintage Atwood.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, c1996.
Edition: 1st ed. in the U.S.A.
ISBN: 9780385475716
Characteristics: 468 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Lovestoread5 Feb 05, 2018

There's a series on this book now, on Netflix I believe. It's really good!

Dec 04, 2017

I'm catching up with this one of Atwood's novels, and read the posted comments here with much curiosity. My take on the book agrees with several readers who found it slow moving and peopled with often unappealing characters. Much rich detail is engrossing, however. A virtuoso scene of hypnotism occurs near the end--worth waiting for. How will this book be made into a movie? Many possibilities. My favorite of her books remains Blind Assassin.

Aug 11, 2017

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?


debwalker Aug 09, 2017

Canada 150 fave for MP and Minister of Health Jane Philpott. The CBC version will have its world premiere at TIFF 2017.

debwalker Jul 19, 2017

Trailer out!

Personally excited for this! When it was first published, I attended an event at the Richmond Hill Library and had my copy signed by Lady Margaret herself! (BTW it was at RH because the murder happened just up the road on Yonge Street – back when it was a farm, not a hideous strip mall).

Also something I have in common with our amazing Canadian Minister of Health Jane Phillpott - for Canada 150, she announced it's her favourite book too!

multcolib_susannel Mar 20, 2017

A convicted killer who can't remember her crime and an inexperienced psychiatrist who wants to interview her. He says he just wants to see how her mind works. But is he telling the truth?
Inspired by a real case.

Dec 23, 2016

Tragedy, not drowned by sadness, wish I could be alive (and well versed) like Grace facing her misfortunes. She could be guilty of accessory (or more), which was not my focus since the beginning.

Simon is more intriguing than other (less weighty but no less miserable) male characters. His fate was even worse than jailed Grace.

Jeremiah the peddler maybe the only character that shed positive or uplifting light on the shadow of mystery, but Grace still outshine his intelligence, craft, wit.

I love the plot structure and narrative style, intimate, authentic, mystic, and allegorical. And I was first exposed to the meaning of quilt art in details!

Sep 26, 2016

Not bad, quite a mystery but I found it slow moving at times and it was hard to keep my interest up.

BookReviewer2015 Sep 20, 2016

An interesting novel about a young woman in 1840s Canada and the scandalous murder she commits. One of Atwood's best.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 22, 2014

Another of Atwood's masterpieces, based on a notorious double murder on the outskirts of Toronto in the mid-nineteenth century. Atwood gives us little in the way of traditional elements of trust in a novel; the protagonist is somewhat suspect, given to strange fantasies and sexual proclivities, and Grace herself is the epitome of the unreliable narrator: she may be a murderer, possibly schizophrenic, or perhaps she really does suffer from amnesia induced by extreme trauma. In either case, she's a very witty and engaging presence throughout.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 03, 2009

A fictional account of the 1843 trial of 16-year-old Canadian housemaid Grace Marks who was found guilty of the murder of her employer and his mistress.


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