The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood

The story of Iris Chase and her younger sister Laura as told by Iris aged 83 along with a selection of newspaper clippings. Brought up at the beginning of the last century into a wealthy family in Canada, Iris is charged by her parents and housekeeper Reenie to take care of Laura who can be very literal about life. When their family starts heavily loosing money, their father's button factory is set alight and Laura's communist friend Alex Thomas is blamed. The girls hide him until he is able to escape and he is never forgotten by either girl.

Iris marries prominent businessman Richard Griffin in a bid to save her fathers business against her wishes aged 18. Him and his poisonous sister Winifred soon take over both hers and Laura's lives using them as pawns in their own games in their political endeavours. There are sections amidst the main storyline with two unnamed lovers who are meeting in secret. The man tells the woman a wonderful series of stories he makes up, my favourites were following the blind assassin and the girl from the temple.

It is typical Atwood storytelling with the plot jumping around from the present, to the past, to newspaper articles which tell you the end of the main story before you hear about how they all get there plus the unnamed lovers. There were some great twists and revelations at the end, and I didn't see all of them coming which is always good. It took a little longer than usual to really grab my attention, but I loved it once I started to get to know the characters more. That is Atwood's strength, her development of her characters especially the female ones.