Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady Oracle, Margaret Atwood

Lady Oracle
Margaret Atwood

I've been holding off on this review for a while, which is something I tend to do. A bit of distance from the book I am reviewing lets me see how well it holds up, and if it sticks with me or not.

Lady Oracle is an earlier work by Atwood, and one I have struggled to come to an opinion about.

On the plus side, Atwood's writing is generally quite good, and her characters are very alive. Her heroine has history in a way most people can't remember about themselves, and Atwood writes it lovingly.

On the minus side, though, all that history is just about all there is. She spends most of the book on back story, and then suddenly the pace picks up to tell about what is happening in the present. It comes across feeling disjoint as a result of those pacing issues. To me it was like the heroine now and the heroine in the past were two entirely different people.

Finally, the biggest issue for me is that almost nothing happens. Yes, the heroine does fake her own death – don't worry, that's on the back cover, and not a spoiler – but that's about the only actual event that takes place. The rest is all interior monologue and a few conversations.

To be clear, it's not that I only like books in which things are blown up, but I sadly conclude that Lady Oracle goes too far into the realm where nothing ever happens for my taste. Lovers of Atwood or less action based stories might appreciate this one.