Book: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Genre: Literary Fiction (a bit of history and SF thrown in too)
For: Awards Challenge (Booker Prize 2000)
This one of those books that has three different stories within the one book. First, there's our heroine, Iris, in the present. She's an old lady, dealing with the inconveniences of being old, looking back on her life, and trying to get it all written down before it's too late. This part is written in the first person, present tense.
Then, there's the story she's actually writing down, her past life. It starts with the building up of her grandpa's button business in Canada, her parents getting together, her birth, her sister's birth, all the stuff that happens in between and ends when her life all fell apart many years later. We get glimpses of her life during WWI, the Depression, and WWII. This part is told in first person, past tense.
The third part of the story is actually a book that Iris has and is sharing with us (you'll get the details about that as you go) and this book is called The Blind Assassin. It's about a pair of lovers, meeting discreetly, as often as they can. During their meetings, the guy tells the girl this strange, but oddly riveting, science fiction story. This section is told in third person present tense.
Interspersed in between the sections are several news articles and a few letters, depicting these events.
I totally enjoyed the whole thing. All the different sections held my attention. There were a couple of plot twists that threw me for a loop, which is always fun. The writing style is very poetic and descriptive, but not in an over-the-top way. Basically, it's one of those soap opera-ish stories that I love to get all involved in.
It was a sad and depressing story though. I'm ready for and uplifting and happy one now!
(Sheesh, I just realized the Awards Challenge ends soon. I thought I had until the end of the summer! Oh, well.)