Alias Grace: A Novel
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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?
intoned, Those strong in the faith know, that in the Lord’s hands even the infirm vessel is put to right use. I see you have made a study of it already, I said, for he did sound exactly like a preacher; and he laughed again. But then he looked more earnest, and leant across the table. I think you should come away with me, Grace, he said. I don’t like the feel of things. Come away? I said. What do you mean? You would be safer with me than you are here, he said. At that I gave a shiver, for it
Kinnear himself, with a smirk on him as if he thought it a good joke. I scrambled to my feet, tugging my skirt down with one hand, with the brush in the other, and the dirty water dripping onto my dress. Oh I am sorry, Sir, I said. But I thought, why couldn’t he have the decency to say who he was? No harm done, he said, a cat may look at a queen; and at that minute Nancy came in through the doorway, with her face as white as chalk and green around the gills, but her eyes as sharp as needles.
sullen and silent, but that was no change; and then Nancy and I went to bed together, as was always the case when Mr. Kinnear was away, on account of her fear of burglars; and she suspected nothing. But I made very sure the bedchamber door was locked.” “Why was that?” “As I’ve said, I always lock the door when I sleep. But also, McDermott had some foolish notion of creeping about the house at night with the axe. He wanted to kill Nancy while asleep. I said he should not do that, as he might hit
mother said she would have to talk to my father and obtain his agreement, but this was only for show. Beggars cannot be choosers, and they did not have any other road open to them; and as well, there had been some strange men about the village, talking about the house that was burnt and the man that was killed, and asking questions; and after that my father was in a hurry to get himself out of the way. So he put a good front on it, and said it was a new start in life, and it was generous of my
there’s the voice of a strange man, This is most kind of you Ma’am, and the Governor’s wife saying I am so happy to be of help, and he says again, Most kind. Then he comes through the doorway, big stomach, black coat, tight waistcoat, silver buttons, precisely tied stock, I am only looking up as far as the chin, and he says This will not take long but I’d appreciate it Ma’am if you’d remain in the room, one must not only be virtuous, one must give the appearance of virtue. He laughs as if it is