Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Title: Surfacing

Author: Margaret Atwood

Number of pages: 186

Started: 14 March 2009

Finished: 18 March 2009

Opening words:

I can't believe I am on this road again, twisting along past the lake where the white birches are dying, the disease is spreading up from the south, and I notice they now have seaplanes for hire. But this is still near the city limits; we didn't go through, it's swelled enough to have a bypass, that's success.

Plot summary:

Part detective novel, part psychological thriller, Surfacing is the story of a talented woman artist who goes in search of her missing father on a remote island in northern Quebec. Setting out with her lover and another young couple, she soon finds herself captivated by the isolated setting, where a marriage begins to fall apart, violence and death lurk just beneath the surface, and sex becomes a catalyst for conflict and dangerous choices. Surfacing is a work permeated with an aura of suspense, complex with layered meanings, and written in brilliant, diamond-sharp prose. Here is a rich mine of ideas from an extraordinary writer about contemporary life and nature, families and marriage, and about women fragmented...and becoming whole.

What I thought:

I always have mixed views about Margaret Atwood’s books. Of her books, this is probably the one that I have enjoyed the most. I thought it was a good read and I enjoyed the plot and the way it was written. Some of the reviews that I have read about it don’t really seem to fit with what actually happened in the book, but I can see that this might not be ideal reading as an assigned text at school and had I read it then I don’t think I would have liked it.

So all in all I thought it was a good book and has made me feel that it might be worth persevering with her books a bit longer. It does have a weird ending though...


Sarah said...

I too feel a little ambivalent about Margaret Atwood. I like Handmaid's Tale best; laziness on my part, probably.

But I would read Surfacing again.

Have you read Oryx and Crake? It's on my TBR list...

Impressed by the range of books on offer here, and am enjoying your style of blogging, which covers absolutely everything a potential reader of a book needs to know.

Random Reflections said...

Sarah - Thanks for your comment. I haven't read The Handmaid's Tale, perhaps I'll give it a go.

I have a copy of Oryx and Crake but have never read it. I am going to Canada in a couple of weeks and feel a I should read a Canadian author while I am there. Perhaps I will take it with me. I am concerned I won't like it though... dilemmas...

Thanks for your comment about my blog. I think it rather shows how my brain works! I am a big fan of your blog and always like keeping up with what you have been reading. said...

I have also posted on this book:

I didn't think it was up to the level of some of her later books