Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ugh... I held out hope until the very end. And of course, I have high expectations going into the novel, because it's Margaret Atwood. But ultimately, no.

I did not like that the character of Zenia was pure evil, that she was this web of lies and smoke and mirrors, and that we never got to find out what was really going on with her, no motivation, no background story, nothing. I didn't like that the other three main characters were so spineless, snivelly, and weak, letting one woman who stole their men ruin their entire lives. I got an annoying First Wives Club vibe and imagined the character of Roz played by Bette Midler, with Goldie Hawn cast as Charis and Diane Keaton playing Tony.

Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Middler in The First Wives Club, 1996.  Photo from
 I kept reading anyway, hoping for some revelation, some twist to come at the end of the novel that would upend everything, a dazzling finish that just didn't materialize. I didn't like that the men in the novel were all so weak and wishy-washy, either. The only strong character in the novel was this Zenia person, this female devil incarnate who was different things to different people -- kind of like that mirror in the Harry Potter book that showed each person their heart's desire, only Zenia reflected back and exploited the weakness of whomever she was with. Maybe that was the point -- maybe her character was only partially formed on purpose. Still, not my favorite Atwood novel by a long shot.

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1 comment:

Rebecca Grace said...

Have you read Oryx & Crake or Year of the Flood, both by Margaret Atwood? They are both as good as Handmaid's Tale, IMO, and are also social/political satire.