The Blind Assassin does something that can be so rare in books - Take you right to the end stressing about whether the conflict of the novel will be resolved by the end. The characters suffer, and hurt, and the tension builds as you root for them fight against the foreboding feeling in your stomach as you watch their history unfold. It is a book of many stories and styles: Newspaper articles, private memoir, and the strange novel "The Blind Assassin", which itself is a story within a story, following illicit lovers who create sci-fi stories during their rendezvous. Each story reveals pieces of a dark family drama, which slowly comes together to explain the ramifications and secrets they have kept from the world, themselves, and each other.
The Blind Assassin overall is well paced, giving you enough details to make you feel like you can figure out the mystery, but never enough definitive proof you are right. Her multiple narratives allow for her to play with different styles of narration, and different ways to reveal and hide information. The choice of a family drama as a mystery is a wise choice. Many mysteries focused on a crime have one main mystery to solve. A family history can hold many mysteries and secrets, and so Atwood allows you to solve one mystery, only to be faced with new puzzles she has dropped for you to consider. This gives her a buffer to tell her story without the audience figuring it all out too early, and gives her the momentum to keep the tale going right to the end.The real mystery ultimately becomes how all of these solutions connect and tell the audience the larger story of the two sisters.
This story is recommended for people who:
1. Enjoy Sweeping family dramas that span decades
2. Stories with various styles of writing and narrative
3. Stories that focus on issues of class, gender, and family duty.
Rating: Highly Recommended