Women Unbound! Update

Well, I've finally finished my first of two books for the Women Unbound! challenge I joined this year! I've just completed The Robber Bride, by Margaret Atwood. Here are my thoughts:

I will admit- this book took me a little while to get in the groove. I loved two other Atwood novels, (A Handmaid's Tale, and Oryx & Crake), but hadn't read anything of hers that wasn't dystopian/sci-fi yet. Turns out, I sort of prefer that style to this one. The Robber Bride is the story of four women, friends since college, and the connections and disconnections throughout their lives, fueled by the antics of Zenia, the sexpot friend whose life is either enviable or pitiable, depending on whether she has stolen your husband yet.

I just felt like this story was a little bit anti-climactic. Atwood does (as always) create such realistic, identifiable and unique characters. These women are fascinating people. But their story unfolded a little slowly for my taste. Also, I wanted at least one of them to find their ultimate self-worth apart from their husbands (or the loss thereof). But they were focused almost exclusively on holding on to the men. As I read, I kept saying to myself, "Why do they let her get away with wreaking all this havoc on their lives?" The 'girl drama' actually became a little distracting, for me.

Overall, I did enjoy the story, but it didn't compel me. I appreciate the interesting female characters, (and they were interesting), but in the end, I was hoping for a little more adventure, and that just isn't the kind of book this was.

I definitely haven't been put off of reading Atwood. Her prose is always gorgeous, and I look forward to the next opportunity to read her work.


mel u said...

You might enjoy her work The Penelopiad also-a retelling of the story of Penelope the left at home wife of Odyseus

Carolynn said...

That's wonderful- thanks for the recommendation, and the comment! (I checkecd out your review of the Penelopiad- looks interesting!)

Elizabeth said...

You wrote a book review!!! And a very good one, BTW. I haven't read this particular Atwood yet, so don't have a lot of input. But, great job! =)

Carolynn said...

Thanks!!! :) It was kind of fun actually!

Anonymous said...

Nice review! I love Atwood too, but I haven't read any of her non-dystopian stuff either. How awesome are her female characters? Even if you don't like them or agree with their choices, they are pretty well drawn.

If you haven't read it already, you would probably like The Year of the Flood, too--it's the companion novel to Oryx & Crake. :)