Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
A Novel

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Synopsis

In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying work since The Handmaid's Tale. She takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century.

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Margaret Atwood

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Born November 18, 1939, in Ottawa, Canada, Margaret Atwood spent her early years in the northern Quebec wilderness. Settling in Toronto in 1946, she continued to spend summers in the northern woods. This experience provided much of the thematic material for her verse. She began her writing career as a poet, short story writer, cartoonist, and reviewer for her high school paper. She received a B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1961 and an M.A. from Radcliff College in 1962. Atwood's first book of verse, Double Persephone, was published in 1961 and was awarded the E. J. Pratt Medal. She has published numerous books of poetry, novels, story collections, critical work, juvenile work, and radio and teleplays. Her works include The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1970), Power Politics (1971), Cat's Eye (1986), The Robber Bride (1993), Morning in the Buried House (1995), and Alias Grace (1996). Many of her works focus on women's issues. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and fiction including the Prince of Asturias award for Literature, the Booker Prize, the Governor General's Award in 1966 for The Circle Game and in 1986 for The Handmaid's Tale, which also won the very first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987.
 
Published June 8, 2011 by Anchor. 482 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alias Grace

Kirkus Reviews

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A fascinating elaboration--and somewhat of a departure for Atwood (The Robber Bride, 1993, etc.)--of the life of Grace Marks, one of Canada's more infamous killers.

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Kirkus Reviews

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A fascinating elaboration—and somewhat of a departure for Atwood (The Robber Bride, 1993, etc.)—of the life of Grace Marks, one of Canada's more infamous killers.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Intrigued by contemporary reports of a sensational murder trial in 1843 Canada, Atwood has drawn a compelling portrait of what might have been. Her protagonist, the real life Grace Marks, is an enigma

Aug 30 1999 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In Atwood's latest, the notorious 19th-century murderess Grace Marks tells her story in a Toronto asylum. (Nov.)

Oct 13 1997 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Jordan is hoping to awaken Grace's suppressed memories of the day of the murder, but Grace, though uneducated, is far wilier than Jordan, whom she tells only what she wishes to confess.

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Publishers Weekly

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In Atwood's latest, the notorious 19th-century murderess Grace Marks tells her story in a Toronto asylum.

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Entertainment Weekly

Being a novelist, not a detective, Atwood is far more concerned with exploring the smug Victorian world that shaped and punished Grace Marks than she is with condemning or vindicating her.

Nov 29 1996 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

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Sep 15 1996 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: The story of Grace Marks, a Canadian servant girl imprisoned for a murder of her employer and his mistress is retold by Atwood in a demanding but satisfactory multi-voiced format.

Nov 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

The Bookbag

The themes that are touched upon are numerous, but the two that I found most compelling and that stayed with me long, long after reading the book were the attitudes to sex and gender and the attitudes to social class.

Jan 15 2015 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

Pajiba

Alias Grace is a novel based on a real double murder that occurred in Toronto in the 1850s.

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Pajiba

Atwood imagines Grace's history and what might have really happened.

Dec 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

People

In 1843, in a criminal case that would become one of Canada's most notorious, a young servant woman named Grace Marks was convicted of murdering her employer and a fellow servant who was his mistress.

Jan 27 1997 | Read Full Review of Alias Grace: A Novel

Reader Rating for Alias Grace
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