So, I hope you’re sitting comfortably for this one… Perhaps you should refill your cup and grab a biscuit before I begin? Do you like the prints that I’ve added, and those beautiful drapes? I think they make the place more conducive to discussion!
Margaret Atwood. What can I say? I’ve already shared my disappointment at various aspects of this book and I’ve hinted at the fact that my expectations might have been somewhat unrealistic. I’ve considered a myriad of excuses: it was my first ebook, I’m not a greenie, I’m tired, I have a cold, insomnia, Atwood’s gone stale, McCarthy’s The Road has destroyed all predictive ‘destruction’ fiction for me.
It is true that Year of The Flood had a good opening. I was intrigued by the biblical, prophetic allusions, by the notion of a waterless flood, the implied environmental holocaust. However, after a few pages, this became too overdetermined. The flow of characters’ narratives was confusing and the constant interjections of hymns and allusions became irritating rather than inspiring.
It wasn’t until I was about 62% (ah the joys of the little counter thing at the bottom of the ipad screen which tells you how far you are in the book!) that I suddenly began to enjoy the two central narratives. Ren and Toby. These two women are in their own ways trend setters, feminist gurus who embrace life and whose searches are filled with a deep desire for acceptance and belonging. What a great shame that this wasn’t crystallized earlier in the text! By the time My enjoyment kicked in, I felt as though I had had to plough my way through a whole lot of fat to get to the meat (a pun if you know that these gardener characters are all hyper vegetarian.) And then, of course, as I became intrigued by Ren and Toby, the book ended – might I add, unsatisfactorily leaving me hanging mid air in a cliched space of the author’s making.
Did I enjoy the journey? I’m as yet undecided. Still digesting all this fat!
Would I recommend this book? Not to everyone. I think that you need to be an Atwood devotee or else extremely interested in Green issues, sustainable living and mankind’s impact on the environment.
Will I still be drinking coffee produced by large corporations? Yes, in much the same way that I will still be buying books from similar corporations which support authors like Atwood! Beware people in glass houses and all that!
If you happen to be one of those types who is interested in this type of text, I would be most interested in hearing your views about this novel. I am still feeling somewhat displaced by the text and would welcome any sort of reassurance or feedback from others.