By the author of The Handmaid’s Tale Ebook and Alias Grace Ebook.
Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood – unbearable betrayals and cruelties – surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for forty years.
‘Not since Graham Greene has a novelist captured so forcefully the relationship between school bully and victim…Atwood’s games are played, exquisitely, by little girls’ LISTENER An exceptional novel from the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize
Review From Publishers Weekly
Atwood writes in an autobiographical vein about a middle-aged Canadian painter who is thrust into an extended reconsideration of her past, including one particularly strange friendship, while attending a retrospective of her work in Toronto. PW praised Atwood’s incisiveness, saying that she “takes the measure of a coercive, conformist society.”
Review From School Library Journal
YA– When Elaine Risley returns to her hometown, Toronto, for a retrospective show of her paintings, she finds more than critical acclaim. Local streets, long-gone landmarks, and elements in the paintings themselves trigger memories of her transient childhood traveling across Canada with her entomologist father; of adolescence marred by the cruel teasing of three friends; and of love affairs with her first art teacher and mentor, and with Jon, her first husband. In addition, Elaine is haunted by thoughts of her chief tormentor/best friend, Cordelia, whom she last saw years ago in a mental institution. Atwood’s focus on the inner landscape of Elaine’s youth and early adult years will appeal to older teenagers.
– Alice Conlon, University of Houston