The Blind Assassin is my second Atwood novel (other is The Handmaid’s Tale), and after a second helping, I will certainly be holding my plate out for more, and more, and more.
Most of the novel centers around Iris Chase as she recalls the events of her past (she is an older woman at the time of her recollection). Intertwined into Iris’s memoirs is also the posthumously published “The Blind Assassin” novel written by her sister Laura Chase who died in a mysterious car accident. While the story within a story motif was a little difficult to handle at first (science fiction meets literature noir), I found myself wrapped up in the story as the novel progresses. On a third level is newspaper clippings of pertinent events in the lives of the Chase family. All three parts work together a beautiful, yet sad, story.
The book itself was a little difficult for me to start, but once I was sucked into the story of the Chase girls (Laura and Iris)–well, I guess I’ve already said it–I was sucked in. Atwood’s writing is beautiful as she tells a story of loss, submission, secrecy, and denial. The plot twists and turns as the reader tries to make the connections between the Chase girls through Iris’s account, the newspaper articles, and the nameless characters of the posthumous novel.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to people who like a mystery a little out of the ordinary (although Atwood gives enough clues throughout the text to make the ending a little predictable–but still enjoyable). Certainly a book for Atwood fans. Not for the beach book reader, but I think its a book that can be enjoyed by a large number of different readers.