THE ROBBER BRIDE BY MARGATET ATWOOD
VIRAGO PRESS LTD (PAPERBACK), 1993
This book is part of my Popsugar Reading Challenge 2015 (http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458). The category for this book is ‘a book with more than 500 pages’.
I chose this book simply because it was the first un-read one in my collection that was over the 500 page mark. No really. I didn’t put a lot of thought into this category.
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride is inspired by “The Robber Bridegroom,” a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony,Charis, and Roz. All three “have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them.
To Tony, who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career, Zenia is ‘a lurking enemy commando.’ To Roz, who did lose her husband and almost her magazine, Zenia is ‘a cold and treacherous bitch.’ To Charis, who lost a boyfriend, quarts of vegetable juice and some pet chickens, Zenia is a kind of zombie, maybe ‘soulless'” (Lorrie Moore, New York Times Book Review). In love and war, illusion and deceit, Zenia’s subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies’ pasts.
The story of Zenia ought to begin when Zenia began. It must have been someplace long ago and distant in space, thinks Tony: someplace bruised, and very tangled. A European print, hand-tinted, ochre coloured, with dusty sunlight and lots of bushes in it – bushes with thick leaves and ancient twisted roots, behind which, out of sight in the undergrowth and hinted only by a boot protruding, or a slack hand, something ordinary but horrifying is taking place.
This was my first read-through of The Robber Bride. Atwood is one of my favourite writers and I’ve read a few of her novels.
I loved The Robber Bride. Atwood offers a seemingly ordinary tale of Zenia, a femme fatale and the three women whose lives and men she destroys. As with all great novels this is the icing on the cake and there’s a lot more going on underneath. I loved the characters. Zenia is one of the best fictional villains ever. I love how she contrasts with her three victims; Tony, Charis and Roz. Zenia is a brilliant villain. Atwood paints her as nasty manipulative bitch. She shoehorns her way into the lives of these three women and tears them apart and then saunters off into the sunset. I loved the way Atwood writes about the history of Tony, Charis and Roz and how Zenia tore them apart. I loved the way The Robber Bride ends. One of the best and saddest parts is when Roz’s husband Mitch commits suicide after Zenia has used and abandoned him. Until this moment some of Zenia’s antics were quite amusing and this darker turn of events was quite a shock. The Robber Bride is a great book and one of my top books I’ve read in 2015.