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Helen BS: Margaret Atwood: 'The Testaments' (9) RE: BS: Margaret Atwood: 'The Testaments' 08 Sep 19

Hi pete,

I think Atwood's novels are more like an evolving "experience" and an awakening awareness rather than a plot driven story. A lot like Hermann Hesse, in my opinion, e.g. The Glass Bead Game, Narziss & Goldmund, etc. There is a plot but it isn't gripping and action packed.

The first novel I read was Surfacing (the one which fell off the shelf at my feet - thank you, Universe!) which is very much about an evolving awareness by the main character about her life and her self and her significant relationship.

Probably my favourite would be The Robber Bride because it is about a group of women who had a mutual friend, now deceased, and the group are reevaluating the impact of that woman on each of their lives. It was made into a movie with the beautiful and inimitable Susan Lynch in the role of Charis. Think of a group of people witnessing an incident and each having a different version of events.

After watching the HT movie which was screened on the same TV channel the week after season two of HT finished, I read a bit about it and one of the comments by Natasha Richardson was that she wanted the voiceover comments from the main character's thoughts to be added to the movie but the producer disagreed. In my opinion, that is what the book and the TV series were about. It showed the impact of external social and political events on the individual living through the experience.

Atwood's novels might not be your cup of tea, but if you approach them from the perspective of internal awareness and growth of the characters you might enjoy them.

The only one I wasn't so fussed about was Alias Grace, but maybe I should re-read it and give it a second chance. Looking at her list of novels, I realise I am lagging behind because there are a couple that I did not know about. I'll have to chase those up.

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