Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Robber Bride, by Margaret Atwood

4 stars

A deeply interesting story of four women - detached and intellectual Tony, flaky earth child Charis, gregarious businesswoman Roz, and the mysterious, cunning and manipulative Zenia. All four were at college together and years later Tony, Charis and Roz are still friends despite having nothing in common - nothing but their hatred of Zenia.

It wasn't always that way, as we discover when we sift through the women's histories and find out how they came to be who they are and then watch Zenia, in the guise of friendship, find their weak spots, insinuate herself into their lives and then leave with their men, and more.

Any allusions to the Robber Bridegroom, the Grimm fairytale that this was apparently inspired by, were lost on me (probably as I haven't read the Robber Bridegroom) but it really didn't matter. Even if some of the female types feel like those of a generation I don't belong to, and their men thoroughly undeserving of their love (I tend to think Zenia was actually doing them a favour when it came to the men in their lives, although that was definitely not her motivation) I thoroughly enjoyed this incisive and compelling take on the complexities of female relationships.

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