Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

Cat's EyeTitle: Cat's Eye

Author: Margaret Atwood

Pages: 446

Source: Personal library

Rating: 8/10

Summary (From book flap):

Painter Elaine Risley, pushing fifty, returns from Vancouver to Toronto for a retrospective of her work, which has been much celebrated by the women's movement and much attacked from other quarters.

Toronto is the city she fled many years earlier, hoping to leave behind the tyrannical and obsessive memories of her early life there -- from her post-World War II school days and fifties adolescence, through the avant-garde art scene of the sixties, to the advent of feminism in the early seventies.

Now, as she wanders the streets of the city, which are no longer puritanical and dowdy but resplendent with eighties glitz, Elaine confronts the submerged layers of her past -- her unconventional family, her eccentric and brilliant brother, the self-righteous and dangerous Mrs. Smeath, and the two men Elaine later came to love in diverse and sometimes disastrous ways. But it is the enigmatic Cordelia, once her tormentor, then her best friend, whose elusive yet powerful presence in her life Elaine finally comes to understand.

My Two Cents:

At first, I wasn't sure how I was going to like this novel. It didn't capture me right away like the other two Atwood works I've read, but as I continued reading, it had me hooked.

I really liked Elaine as a main character, although I liked her better in her younger form than as the mature, adult narrator. She had an unconventional childhood, especially for the first eight years of her life. She really, to me, seemed like someone I would have liked to have as a friend as a child. With a lot of her interactions with Cordelia, especially, she spoke to me as having a very typical young girl experience with groups of mean girls. Elaine was just a character who was easy to relate to and to see in myself and a lot of people I know.

While much of this book happens in the past and there really isn't a whole lot of action as far as everything in the book is leading up to this huge climax, I was incredibly interested in where Atwood was going to go. I liked that we saw Elaine as an adult, so we know how she turned out, but we were able to see her evolution and how she became the adult she is.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Margaret Atwood or who just wants an interesting story that will keep you reading much longer than you had planned.


Mystica said...

I've only read the Handmaid and found it strange, surreal and at the same time arresting reading. I have tried to find other Atwoods and failed. Thanks for this review.

Aarti said...

I just read The Blind Assassin and really enjoyed it. Definitely one of those books that you can continue mulling over for many weeks after finishing it! I definitely want to read more Atwood, so I'll consider this one when I see it on a used bookstore shelf.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I love what you have to say about this one and look forward to more Atwood soon.

Brenna said...

I read Cat's Eye earlier this year and really liked it. It's probably tied for my favortie Atwood (with Oryx and Crake).

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