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Toronto, Das Junge Dienstm Dchen Grace Wird Mit Sechzehn Des Doppelmordes An Ihren Arbeitgebern Schuldig Gesprochen In Letzter Sekunde Wandelt Das Gericht Ihr Todesurteil In Eine Lebenslange Gef Ngnisstrafe Um Sie Verbringt Jahre Hinter Gittern, Bis Man Sie Schlie Lich Entl Sst Im Haushalt Des Anstaltdirektors Begegnet Sie Dem Nervenarzt Simon, Der Ihrer Geschichte Auf Den Grund Gehen Will Ist Grace Eine Gemeingef Hrliche Verbrecherin Oder Unschuldig Margaret Atwood Hat Einen Roman Von Hypnotischer Spannung Geschrieben, Der Die Geschichte Einer Realen Gestalt, Einer Der Ber Chtigtsten Frauen Kanadas Erz Hlt


10 thoughts on “Alias Grace

  1. says:

    All the same, Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you It has a smell to it, that word musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a vase Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself Murderess, Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor Sketches made of Grace Marks and James McDermott during their sensationalized trial.Grace Marks, at the age of 16 in 1843, was arrested along with James McDermott for the murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his mistress housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery The murders were rather sensationalized in Canadian society, what with the cold blooded brutality and the fact that a young, rather beautiful, young woman was involved McDermott was sentenced to hang, while Marks was saved from the gallows by the spirited defence of her lawyer She spent the next thirty years of her life incarcerated, first in an asylum and then in a prison This story really picked up several years later when Doctor Simon Jordan decided to make a study of her and hoped to unlock some of her missing memories See, there were key elements that she didn t remember about that day that would help him to determine if she was truly a murderess or merely an unwilling accomplice Jordan was struck by her from the very first moment he met her Her eyes were unusually large, it was true, but they were far from insane Instead they were frankly assessing him It was as if she were contemplating the subject of some unexplained experiment as if it were he, and not she, who was under scrutiny And then there was this observation of Grace by Jordan, as well She s thinner now, less full in the face and whereas the picture shows a pretty woman, she is now than pretty Or other than pretty The line of her cheek has a marble, a classic, simplicity to look at her is to believe that suffering does indeed purify Other than pretty implied further depths to her beyond just the surface beauty that captured the imagination of a ghoulish public He might not know it, but he was already smitten with Grace and in danger of tumbling head over heels in love with her It is hard to keep control of a series of interviews if you have become interested in than just the deeds of the individual As an added distraction every mother in Toronto with a daughter was trying to manufacture ways to throw their pretty daughters in front of this very eligible bachelor He was a doctor after all As one season s crop of girls proceeds into engagement and marriage, younger ones keep sprouting up, like tulips in May They are now so young in relation to Simon that he has trouble conversing with them it s like talking to a basketful of kittens They were fresh, so new they were barely out of the packaging of their youth, and of course virginal What every man should desire,right Well, if one doesn t mind vacuousness.As fascinating as Grace s story is, I found myself becoming even engrossed with the story of Dr Simon Jordan and his desire driven demons His landlady, whose husband had absconded on a bout of debauchery, was also proving to be a damsel in distress as her only source of income became her one lodger Her face is heart shaped, her skin milky, her eyes large and compelling but although her waist is slender, there is something metallic about it, as if she is using a short length of stove pipe instead of stays Today she wears her habitual expression of strained anxiety she smells of violets, and also of camphor She was a beauty past her prime, but still she was compellingly sexy He felt this attraction against his will There was no hope for a relationship She was married and too old to ever be acceptable to his family or his class He was supposed to marry one of those inane, young ladies It would be one way of deciding his fate, or settling his own hash or getting himself out of harm s way But he won t do it he s not that lazy, or weary not yet I can t help, but think of Newland Archer from The Age of Innocence, who allowed himself to be trapped into what was expected of him, as well What if Archer had escaped with Countess Olenska I still pine for him to escape.So even though the landlady was forbidden, bruised fruit, he couldn t help, but notice that Her lips are full, but fragile, like a rose on the verge of collapse This was one of the many times when I had to read a Margaret Atwood line many times, rolled it around the surface of my tongue, so that I could taste the sweet, the bitter, and the savory of that beautifully written line Dr Jordan was starting to have odd thoughts and unsettling dreams of murders committed by himself He started digging in the garden under the pretense of planting a garden, but it seemed, even to his subconscious self, that he was loosening the soil forthe corpse of his landlord if he should return or maybe a stack of bodies of those from which he wished to escape It would put him on an equal footing with one particular woman Murderess, murderess, he whispers to himself It has an allure, a scent almost Hothouse gardenias Lurid, but also furtive He imagines himself breathing it as he draws Grace toward him, pressing his mouth against her Murderess He applies it to her throat like a brand This novel is based on the true story of Grace Marks History lost track of her once she was released from prison after nearly thirty years of incarceration No tombstone is known to mark her grave She simply vanished into the woodwork of a new America Atwood has not only brought her to life, but has seamlessly and creatively put words of putty and glue into the missing pieces I wonder every time I finish an Atwood why I don t read her frequently Sarah Gadon plays Grace Marks in the seriesNetflix has recently launched the first season of a new show based on Alias Grace It spurred me to get this book read that I had planned to read three years ago I was wooed by other pressing books, and what a fool I was I don t know how I feel about watching the series I m as sure that it is good as I am sure that it will disappoint I will eventually work up the courage to watch it, but I think I will luxuriate in reverence for the book for a while If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also 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  2. says:

    Sometimes I whisper it over to myself Murderess, Murderess It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor Highlight of 2017 for me A pure gem That is Alias Grace, for me Another grand work of Margaret Atwood Atwood, described as one of the most brilliant and unpredictable novelists alive Literary Review and also A witty, elegant, generous and patient writer I would say a strong minded, self willed, wayward writer, sometimes also dark and ruthless This story keeps you hooked from beginning to end, following Grace Marks in her troubled life A colourful, multifaceted and intriguing story, that keeps you reading for than 500 pages This is how Atwood describes the story outline in her Author s Afterword, which I recommend everyone to read in full About Grace is a work of fiction, although it is based on reality Its central figure, Grace Marks, was one of the most notorious Canadian women of the 1840s, having been convicted of murder at the age of sixteen The Kinnear Montgomery murders took place on July 23, 1843, and were extensively reported not only in Canadian newspapers but in those of the United States and Britain The details were sensational Grace Marks was uncommonly pretty and also extremely young Nancy Montgomery had previously given birth to an illegitimate child and was Thomas Kinnear s mistress at her autopsy she was found to be pregnant Grace and her fellow servant James McDermott had run away to the US together and were assumed by the press to be lovers..The trial was held in early November Only the Kinnear murder was tried McDermott was hanged in front of a huge crowd on November 21, but opinion about Grace was divided from the start and due to the efforts of her lawyer and a group of respectable gentlemen petitioners who pleaded her youth, the weakness of her sex and her supposed witlessness her sentence was commuted to life She continued to be written about over the course of the century, and she continued to polarize opinion Attitudes towards her reflected contemporary ambiguity about the nature of women was Grace a female fiend and temptress, the instigator of the crime and the real murderer of Nancy Montgomory, or was she an unwilling victim, forced to keep silent by McDermott s threats and by fear of her own life .So this story takes you in than 500 pages in a quiet pace through the life of Grace and a variety of characters surround her in the progress of the story Including the fascinating Dr Jordan, who comes into play to assess Grace and in that process we witness his struggle and moral decline.As Atwood says in her afterword she stayed with the historical facts, but there were gaps there or unclarities various versions and in that case she took the liberty to fill those gaps in What can I say I think Atwood is a true artist solid writing sharp observations great writing What can I want 5 stars and highly recommended I m a fan was already, now it s official


  3. says:

    Working with patches Patchwork Putting together various pieces of material that already existed and joining them into a new design.This is the theme that Margaret Atwood has developed through her novel, and I am not making this up for the sake of my review Her concluding paragraphs, spoken by her heroine, are about the patched Tree of Paradise The Tree itself is of triangles, in two colours, dark for the leaves and a lighter colour for the fruits I am using purple for the leaves and red for the fruits. And so Atwood constructed her fiction She has taken fragments from a past reality, from a crime committed in the Canada of the 1840s The unifying thread is the fictionalized account of Grace Marks, one of the two people convicted for a double murder The other person accused was hanged, but her sentence was commuted to life in prison Through her novel Atwood has called her to live again in fiction Thanks to her stitches.Using this textual thread, one spun out of the materials of memory and invention, Atwood has joined many other pieces Some add colour and veracity, for she includes fragments from newspapers for as this became a famous case, a plethora of texts narrated this event before Atwood did as well as extracts from the written confessions by Marks herself, or from letters written by real life figures such as the Medical Superintendent of the Asylum where Marks was interned, or from the Diary of the Warden of the Penitentiary where Marks spent the early part of her sentence Other fragments included add a different tonality and ingenuity Stanzas from poems, sonnets, stanzas and tragedies interspersed here and there add insight and sensitivity This crafty use of lyrical and dramatic elements appeal to our fancies and sharpen our awareness, and the overall effect is new and compelling.And as we notice Atwood s abilities in working with patches, we recognized her literary artistry and her understanding of the powers of fiction When stories are woven they are nothing at all, but when they are finished, with all their parts sewn together, they become what they are Not surprisingly is Scheherezade invoked in the novel For stories, mixing truths and falsities acquire the nature of something else They are not too different from the Tree of Paradise, the tree of Life and of GoodEvil.


  4. says:

    and the real curse of Eve was having to put up with the nonsense of Adam, who as soon as there was any trouble, blamed it all on her Grace is a murderess She collaborated with her coworker to kill their master and his mistress So the people say So the people want to believe Because, let s face it, where s the fascination in a murder committed only by a man There s no sensation, nothing to stir the crowds Whereas a woman who took a life Well, there s the spectacle Never mind that she may be innocent This is a perfect chance to humiliate women, to place the blame on them and continue the tradition that started at the beginning of timeBut Grace knows the truth Or does she Margaret Atwood takes the story of one of the most famous female prisoners of the 19th century and weaves a masterpiece of a novel Set in the 1840s in Canada and spanning almost 30 years, this is a confession and a fascinating journey to the mind and the life of a woman who has much to say and even to hide Is she a criminal An innocent bystander A cold blooded killer Is she a victim of her weak will A small animal captured in a man s well constructed trap And does anyone want to actually listen to her When a young psychiatrist decides to dive into the darkest part of Grace s mind, everything will change.This is a novel that I consider perfect on every level I ve always believed that the finest writers can give us the conclusion at the beginning of the story and we ll still be interested and invested in the development of the action This is exactly what happens here While Atwood doesn t reveal everything at once, we have all the proper materials to guess the end and there is still much space for suspense, agony and, speaking strictly for me, anger Anger was the feeling that became my loyal companion while I was reading Anger because of the double standards of the time, the conviction that a woman is guilty by definition when accused, the habit of regarding women as objects for the men s pleasure, ripe for the takingAnd if we come to think of it, these notions are still alive today, in our so called advanced era when many believe that gender equality is all done and dealt with and achieved No, when I feel frightened each time I walk down a darkly lit alley, each time a man sideglances at me, gender equality doesn t exist Forgive me if I digress but fury comes swiftly when I think that in many parts of our planet tyranny and violence against women are considered the norm, they are alive and kicking and they will never stop And where do most of these false notions come from Prejudice, superstition, religious fundamentalism and the people there love to fall down in fits, and talk in tongues and be saved once a summer, or if available Jeremiah, one of the most enigmatic characters of the story, provides an excellent and extremely accurate description of the absurd religious panic that inflicts people of every race and every religion The pious, God fearing citizens look upon men to save them and are all too willing to believe in the condemnation of women What I enjoyed in the way this theme is delivered in Alias Grace is that Atwood inserts the influence of such stereotypes in the field of Science as well Educated men aren t immune to prejudice and they attempt to research Grace s case with preconceived notions in their heads Enter Simon, the young psychiatrist who tries a different approach to understand the incidents and the tribulations inside Grace s soul In the process, he finds much than he expected I loved the way Atwood uses the newly born ideas of Mesmerism and Magnetism and the rising of Spiritualism that became in vogue a few years later In addition, she addresses the issue of Hysteria, the common belief that all women were prone to uncontrollable, violent fits of rage, another token of a society that refused to believe that women are actual human beings with the right to seek sexual pleasure and fulfillment God forbid, these are principles solely belonging to men.It s hard not to get political when it comes to Atwood s brilliant novels Grace s background is a highly troubled one She comes from Ulster, an extremely tormented area, and becomes an immigrant to escape a country that is dying from famine and oppression Further, Canada is still shaking from the 1837 uprising and the aristocracy has become even intolerant and cruel to those that are considered low and uneducated heathens In this historical and political context, we can understand how crucial are the themes Atwood addresses and how relevant they are, especially now The gap between the wealthy and the poor, the discriminations against women, the blind faith.Grace is a complex, intriguing character In my opinion, she retains characteristics of the Unreliable Narrator because are we actually certain that her views on events and people are accurate She comes across as a very sympathetic, level headed, brave, considerate, dignified woman She s not afraid to express mistrust or uncertainty and has the self discipline to keep her most controversial thoughts secret until the opportune moment Atwood takes us into Grace s mind before she speaks and succeeds in creating a complete picture of our heroine However, there is still an aura of mystery surrounding her and a strange, underlying sensuality and dark innocence.Apart from Grace, we have two male characters that are equally interesting and mysterious Simon and Jeremiah Simon is very complex, in my opinion Very real and perplexing He is not free from his own demons, he has some fairly obscure ideas about sexual pleasure but he desires progress and knowledge He has travelled extensively and believes he has all the necessary means to tackle Grace s strange case However, he isn t prepared enough for what is about to come Simon gave me much trouble as I was trying to understand him and realise his motives He is mysterious and there is definitely a darkness inside him so he is an excellent counterpart of Grace Jeremiah is a walking riddle A man of the world, a magnetic presence, an enigma This review may come across as passionate or even politically incorrect but when books make you feel so many powerful emotions after reading a few chapters, you know they have succeeded When the author is Margaret Atwood you know you are in the safest hands possible This is a classic, a novel that should definitely be included in the finest of the 20th century Oh, and certain misogynists trolls pseudo scholars that have been lurking on GR lately, better stay away from Atwood s novels, like The Handmaid s Tale or Alias Grace They will prove bad for you sensitive moral values and blood pressure What is believed in society is not always the equivalent of what is true but as regards to a woman s reputation, it amounts to the same thing My reviews can also be found on


  5. says:

    if we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged the year is 1843 and grace marks has been arrested and convicted for her alleged involvement in two murders she is only 16 years old and will spend the next 29 years incarcerated but what would possess a young girl to commit such a crime and why did she give three conflicting confessions of what happened was it a crime of passion or unfortunate circumstances the answers to these questions is exactly what dr jordan hopes to discover as the doctor prompts graces memories, the reader is immersed in a story surrounded by sex, violence, and insubordination, with the uncomfortable realisation that not everything is so black and white.atwood is a very thorough storyteller its evident by reading this that atwood has exhausted all sources when researching grace marks and that tragic day in history and whilst the subject matter is hauntingly gripping, my only complaint it this is a little dry its a long expos of graces character and is very slow at times especially when recounting her early life , almost to the point where i become emotionally deattached from everything that was happening but i cant deny that this dramatic tale is thought provoking, as much as it is entertaining its a definite must read for those who enjoy the true crime of historical fiction 3.5 stars


  6. says:

    If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged When I first read Alias Grace, I thought it was less relevant than her other, almost prophetically painful novels I changed my mind Not immediately, and not deliberately But slowly, steadily, like a patchwork taking form, I could see the novel in a new light long after I finished it It grew in my memory as it faded, and all of a sudden, it occurred to me that it was a masterpiece of quiet rebellion where the other novels, like the Handmaid s Tale, Oryx and Crake, the Penelopiad or Cat s Eye are angry, eloquently shouted manifestos.What is sanity That painful interregnun between phases of blissful insanity, as Poe wittily claims, or the opinion of the insane majority What is murder What is guilt How can one determine what really happened if all people involved in the action live in different minds, meaning different realities How do we establish truth in the tangle of myths, passions, prejudices and conventions As always, we solve the mystery of a story by telling another, and Margaret Atwwod seemed to define my journey as a reader long before I knew what I was reading myself When you are in the middle of a story it isn t a story at all, but only a confusion a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it It s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.


  7. says:

    I felt about Alias Grace the same way I did about probably half of Atwood s novels I ve read so far I just didn t fully get it Nobody conveys Life ain t easy for a woman message as well as Atwood Past, present, future the living is rough for women It is particularly unpleasant for Grace Marks, a young servant girl in mid 19th century Canada, accused of murdering her employer and his housekeeper with the help of her co worker and alleged paramour, and who is locked up first in an insane asylum and then prison Atwood finds a way to explore plenty of issues from a feminist standpoint here poverty, servitude, sexual repression, violence, insanity and does is marvelously.What didn t work for me was Grace s story itself Evidently, this real life criminal case got a lot of attention back in a day Was Grace a cunning murderess Or did her supposed lover force her to participate in this gruesome crime Did she make up her convenient memory loss People speculated about this 150 years ago without coming to any definitive conclusion Atwood doesn t give any answers in her fictionalized version either After establishing Grace s character so well, the author failed in my eyes to come up with a convincing solution to the mystery, or a believable motivation for either scenario If Grace was in fact the evil murderess, why did she desire to kill her master And if her co conspirator was in charge, what was his reason I never understood this.I appreciate ambiguity on fiction, but what is the point of reconstructing a crime, examining it if you do not give any opinion as to what actually took place Frustrating.


  8. says:

    I keep kicking myself for having ditched the Atwood Speaking Gala at A.W.P in Chicago this year The fierce literati kept the attendance so high that it was virtually as if Lady Gaga herself were to give a lecture on her impressive work I was interested in walking all around Chitown, anyway, but I really semi regret not having nabbed a coveted seat She was probably amazing uberclever brilliant.Without two minor teeny infractions, Alias Grace is pretty much a well rounded, totalizing, COMPLETE novel one which paints a full world with such realistic colors that the reader quickly forgets that the plot actually comes from the 1850 s Annals of Canadian Crime Before I start extolling it madly, let me quickly state what those two minor infractions are Grace s 1st person accounts are not completely authentic sounding they are far too articulate and intelligent symbols become too clearly presented to the reader who should feel slightly MORE confused, as psyches are often deep chasms as the author s own signature is made overly clear in Grace s own declarations Atwood adds on her character s openly questionable credibility pretty early on, to her credit Also, there is this feeling that without that added spice of changing POV s and tenses, the plot would have been banal tedious the middle indeed sags, but the conclusion, the last 80 pages of it, is ultimately positively stellar Luckily for us, the writer was hyperaware of how much of her own added element would befit this seemingly simple story of homicide Those symbols of femininity the red peonies, the patchwork quilt, the washing scrap booking have never been placed in such intense context before I was genuinely enthralled, impressed like a rabid Atwood fanboy I truly like this one, perhaps not as much as her fantastic Oryx and Crake, but far than her most famous Handmaid s Tale her recent Year of the Flood.


  9. says:

    Margaret Atwood occupies a strange nook in my heart She s become a bit of a chore lately, as I m including her in my senior honors thesis on the other hand, I ve now read almost all of her novels, and while none are bad or evennot really good Just that because a few of the novels shine so brightly, that the others seem duller in comparison.Well, Alias Grace is a supernova It s an absolutely phenomenal novel, and a truly thrilling read It s a departure for Atwood, as it s historical fiction of course, she did do the Journals of Susanna Moodie before , but over, it employs similar narrative techniques as detective fiction, while turning them on their head in any case, it s definitely a page turner, which is not something you usually mention in conjunction with Atwood This doesn t discount the literary merit there s enough meat in the book to write a dissertation or five on it There s something quite fresh in her style here, with many many passages I absolutely had to read aloud to whomever was un fortunate enough to be near me as I read.The general structure of the novel is from the outset quite fascinating each section is tied under the flag of a quilt pattern, and each begins with a series of epigraphs, combining historical documents, poetry, witness accounts and so forth ultimately questioning the validity of each, and how we reconfigure the past with necessarily limited frameworks at hand Writing a fictionalized account of a historical person is itself an indictment of history, but Atwood takes it so much farther, and in much wonderfully political ways Grace is still a frustrating enigma by the end of the text, but you ll adore her and her sly moves, her secret longings, and her storytelling ability Dr Jordan, as we discover, has no idea what he s getting into with her It s certainly a dark read, and often I would have to lay the book down for at least a minute or two to catch my breath But Atwood has a wonderful way of infusing humor into even the bleakest of moments, so there were just as many times when I found myself laughing aloud This book will not leave you for a long time.


  10. says:

    So, so good Alias Grace questions the existence of an absolute truth Moreover, how is what we think of as the truth informed by power structures specifically, gender and class disparages Can someone who is deemed mad tell the truth Who do you believe when push comes to shove Even though this book was written in the 90s and is set in the middle of the 19th century, it remains an incredibly relevant read I couldn t help but read this story as commentary on current developments, such as the MeToo movement and what poignant commentary at that Margaret Atwood manages to point out injustice and sexism, both overt and subtle, and I marked a lot of passages while reading She also gives insight into the historical treatment of mental disorders and the development of what we know think of as psychiatry, which I found very fascinating.Apart from the interesting and important topics it discusses, Alias Grace also tells such a well crafted story and it managed to keep me completely engrossed while reading It remains an ambiguous read until the end and it s very much the kind of book that only gives you answers if you want them, while also offering some kind of resolution and closure, and I really appreciated that.I d highly recommend Alias Grace and it s definitely the kind of book that will stick with me for a while