Author Margaret Atwood
Publication Date August 28, 2001
"Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge."
Iris Chase Griffen, married at eighteen to a wealthy industrialist but now poor and eighty-two. Iris recalls her far from exemplary life, and the events leading up to her sister’s death, gradually revealing the carefully guarded Chase family secrets. Among these is “The Blind Assassin,” a novel that earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following. Sexually explicit for its time, it was a pulp fantasy improvised by two unnamed lovers who meet secretly in rented rooms and seedy cafés. As this novel-within-a-novel twists and turns through love and jealousy, self-sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real narrative, as both move closer to war and catastrophe.
While reading the story of the two anonymous lovers I was convinced that the woman had to be one of the Chase Sisters but kept me wondering which girl it truly was as the woman had qualities that each woman possessed. The semi sci-fi story of the Blind Assassin, which the novel gets its title from I found a little dull as I am not a big science fiction fan, but of course in the end it served its purpose. As for the main story in The Blind Assassin, which centers around Laura and Iris’s lives from childhood to adults was fantastic, beautifully written and truly kept me spellbound.