Margaret Atwood is perhaps one of my favorite modern authors. My first introduction to her, was through the book The Handmaid's Tale and later Orxy and Crake. Her book The Blind Assassin met all my expectations of this fantastic author.
Atwood combines novel and science fiction in her books to create truly great works.
The Blind Assassin tells the story of Iris Chase Griffin, the last survivor of a one wealthy Canadian family. The story is her account of the death of her younger sister Laura, and dark story that lead to her death.
At a young age she was married off to a wealthy and prestigious older man in Toronto, and it is from that point that all the loose ends of the story begin to tie themselves together.
A bulk of the book takes place during the Great Depression, and through WWII. Iris's father was injured, and her two uncles were killed in the first War, and these all become central to a story of a fallen dynasty, the destruction of war, fear of bolshevism, and changing gender roles.
I've looked back over what I've set down so far, and it seems inadequate. Perhaps there is too much frivolity... Such items do not assort well very well with tragedy. But in life, a tragedy is not one long scream. It includes everything that led up to it. Hour after trivial hour, day after day, year after year, and then the sudden moment: the knife stab, the shell-burst, the plummet of the car from the bridge.
The book is really two stories in one, the story of Iris and Laura, and the story of the Blind Assassin, the Science Fiction element of Atwoods story. In this story two unamed lovers meet in low-income apartments and cheap hotels to develop the story of Saikel-Norn, a far away planet with twisted gender roles.
What is great about Atwood's writing in general, is that it reflects on modern society and in a clever way discusses moral issues such as war, gender, and economics.
The ancestral voices were prophesying war because ancestral voices never shut up, and they hate to be wrong, and war is a sure thing, sooner or later.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
In the first week of December, Father announced a shutdown. It was temporary, he said. He hoped it would be very temporary. He talked about retreating and retrenching in order to regroup. He asked for understanding and patience, and was greeted with a watchful silence by the assembled workers. After the announcement he went back to Avilion and shut himself up in hi turret and drank himself blind. Things were broken up there- glass objects. Bottles, no doubt. Laura and I sat in my room on my bed, holding hands tightly and listening to the fury and grief rampaging around up there, right above our heads like an interior thunderstorm. Father hadn't done anything on that grand a scale for some time.
Perhaps one downfall of her writing, is it somtimes takes awhile to get into whatever book you may be reading. However, once you commit to the novel, you'll be glad you did.