A photo of a woman in a blue dress seated in a prison cell

Alias Grace

Based on the true story of Grace Marks, an infamous murderer in Canada in the 1840’s, Atwood’s book uses different narrators to tell the story, as well as interspersing the story with extracts from other works. From poems, fiction, newspapers of the time, and other sources. Although this is based on the real story, Atwood has, of course, fictionalised a great deal of the novel.

The two narrators are Grace herself, who tells her story in the first person, past tense, and Simon Jordan, the doctor investigating her claims of insanity or innocence. His parts are told by a third person narrator, and are in the present tense.

Nutshell

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb. […]

The South

ISBN: 0330323334 In 1950, Katherine Proctor leaves Ireland and her family for Barcelona, determined to become a painter. There she meets Miguel, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and proceeds to build a life with him. But Katherine cannot escape her past, as Michael Graves, a fellow Irish emigre to Spain, forces her […]

Abide with me

Tyler Caskey is a minister in a small New England town. His wife, Lauren, passed away just over a year ago. Since then his youngest daughter lives with Tyler’s mother, coming up to visit at weekends. His eldest daughter, Katherine, has been almost speechless since her mother died. Only five years old she doesn’t really […]

The Children Act

Does religious belief outweigh the fight for survival? and if the one battling for life is a child, who gets to rule on what is, and isn’t, right? In The Children Act McEwan raises this question. Judge Fiona Maye is called upon to judge the case of a Jehovah’s Witness child who needs a blood […]

To kill a mockingbird

I would guess that almost everyone reading this blog is familiar, to some degree, with Harper Lee’s To kill a mockingbird. The classic story of a good man (Atticus) in a bad world, trying to do his best, as seen through his young daughter (Scout’s) eyes. And of course, then there is Boo Radley, the […]

A man called Ove

Ove is a man who knows what is right, and what is wrong. The rules are there for a reason, and just because every body else in society seems to have stopped following them is no reason for him do break them. It is the right way to live. He owns a Saab. He will […]

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

At a market in Lahore our narrator, Changez, meets an unidentified American and offer to assist him in finding the best tea there is. He guides him to a cafe and begins to tell him his life story. The entire book is Changez revealing his past to this man. Changez is from Lahore, but he […]

The Ghost

Adam Lang, ex-Prime Minister, is writing his memoirs. Or to be more honest, he needs a ghostwriter. Someone to do some research, to rewrite Lang’s memories into a story. Enter our unnamed-narrator1. More used to celebrity biographies our narrator is keen to enter the world of politics. It means a huge amount of money, although […]

The Unfortunate Fursey

Fursey is a lay brother in Clonmacnoise. The only monastery in Ireland to be unafflicted by demons and other such occult presences. The power of its bells have kept all those evil powers away. But that has changed! Demons, vampires, and numerous other evils are now tempting the holy monks. None have much to fear, […]

Girl with a pearl earring

In seventeenth century Holland Griet is about to become a maid. She is sixteen years of age. Her father was blinded in an accident so the family are suffering financially. She will not make much money, but what little she does will help feed her parents, she will also be living where she works, so […]

The Book Thief

At the end of the nineteen thirties in Germany a little girl travelled with her mother and brother on the train. The children were being sent to live with foster parents. Their mother could no longer take care of them. But en route the little boy dies. This is the first death in a book […]