Saturday, January 29, 2011

Alias Grace: A Novel

Alias Grace: A Novel
Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace is the story of the real life Grace Marks, a maid, who at 16 was convicted of murder in the death of her employer and his housekeeper. She was tried along side James McDermott, another empolyee, who was sentenced to death and hanged for the crime. Her death sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Her conviction was contriversial and opinion was divided as to whether Grace was a murderess or an unwilling victim herself. She was committed to an asylum and then later moved to Kingston Penetentiary. After 30 years, Grace was pardoned and moved to northern New York. In the book, Margaret Atwood reconstructs Grace Mark's story in fictional form and introduces Dr. Simon Jordan who, over a period of time, interviews Grace in an effort to uncover the truth. Using the tools of the then elementary science of psychology, Jordan hopes to stimulate Grace's suppressed memories of the day of the murder, but Grace is cleaver and only divulges what what she wants known. The author's writing is true to the times and a literary gem.

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