My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Permission to burrow deep into the messy, chaotic, wonderful lives of other people is one of the big magics of great stories. This isn’t escape exactly because their lives are often more chaotic, messy and dangerous than our own, and yet, at the end we wake up feeling as if we have been given the gift of a second, third or fourth life.
Lady Oracle is such a story. Atwood gives a loose, jangling coming of age story in which the narrator, Joan, learns the tightrope walk of expectations from her overbearing mother, her aloof father, her mercurial husband and mass culture at large.
Joan is at constant war with her own body and struggles to own her creative gifts. There’s schoolyard bullying, lurking perverts, gothic romance, political satire and, nearly, a minor act of international terrorism.
I fell in love with Joan, just a little, which maybe tells you more about me than the story. Lady Oracle is a robust, funny story bursting with the vibrant wordplay for which Atwood is known.
Read it. You may fall in love with Joan as well.