Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood was originally published in 1976. It has a great first line, perhaps one of my favourite first lines. “I planned my death carefully; unlike my life which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it”. I love it!
This first line is from the narrator, and main character Joan Foster, who is a Canadian woman. When we first meet her, she has faked her own death and escaped to Terremoto Italy where she was the year before with her husband Arthur. She becomes a bit paranoid that someone will recognize her and blow her cover. She quickly has regrets.
The novel is mostly flashbacks, as Joan remembers her very unhappy childhood, the relationships throughout her life, and her marriage to Arthur. We also learn how Joan becomes a writer and there are excerpts throughout the book that are from her gothic romance novels. As she becomes more successful with her writing, her marriage becomes more strained and she eventually feels that she is in danger and must fake her death in order to start a new life.
There is quite an array of characters and many themes like marriage, death, identity, societal expectations and escapism or a fantasy life.
It's another great Atwood novel.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛