Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace

Alias Grace


This is my first review for the Classics Club!

Alias Grace is the a historical fiction novel based on the true story of Grace Marks, a woman convicted of murdering her employer and his mistress in Richmond Hill, Ontario in the 1800s. No one knows if Grace is really guilty - not even Grace and it's an intriguing tale.

I love Margaret Atwood, and I really liked this book. Not while I was reading it however, but after - it just sort of struck me that was really good. It's dense, and deals with a lot of thought provoking issues, but it's not an easy or fun read. It was hard for me not only to get into but also to get through and it took me longer than I thought it would to finish it. I did have a sense of the importance of the book while I was reading it and I could understand why it's considered a modern classic. The writing is fantastic and the format was very interesting, the chapters are separated by quilt blocks with quotes, letters, news articles, etc. following each.

It's definitely a dark tale, but there are elements of subtle humour laced throughout and I often caught myself smiling at the odd passages or re-reading bits I particularly enjoyed before moving on to the next bit.

Overall, I did enjoy this read. Some parts of it lagged a bit for me while other parts seemed to just fly by. I gave this book 3 stars on good reads but it's really more of a 3.5 for me. I would've given it 4 stars if it weren't for the difficulty I had with the book, some parts of it made me feel as if it were over my head, I'm sure a re-read would clarify some of the things I struggled with, but I'm not sure if that will happen or not. People who are interested in Margaret Atwood's writing, Canadian history, and historical fiction in general would like this book.

If you've read Alias Grace, I'd love to hear your thoughts. My next Margaret Atwood read is probably going to be The Handmaid's Tale unless someone has another suggestion to offer me (I've read The Penelopiad and I adored it). 


  1. I was assigned to read Atwood all throughout high-school but somehow managed to avoid this one. The premise sounds intriguing enough but I am not too crazy about historical fiction.

    Atwood tends to be hit-and-miss with me but Handmaid's Tale is a great dystopia novel and worth reading.

    1. Thanks! It's definitely going to be my next Atwood read :)