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.
Martin Kobel specialises in helping people. That’s his job, as a therapist, people in need come to him and he helps them. And when he bumps into Annabelle Young at a cafe he sees in her someone he can help. But she hasn’t asked him for help, he passes her his card, hoping that will prompt her to ask for assistance. That doesn’t work. And she is a teacher, her trouble could easily damage a whole class of young impressionable children. He has to do something.
Drood by Dan Simmons
by Dan Simmons
On the 9th of June, 1865, ten passengers were killed when a train crashed at Staplehurst. Among the passengers who survived the disaster was the novelist Charles Dickens. Meeting his friend, Wilkie Collins, soon afterwards Dickens describes a strange individual he came across at the site of the crash. This man, Drood, is to drag both Dickens and Collins into the depths of Victorian London’s criminal and poverty stricken underbelly. Will he also lead to murder and insanity?