Day 12 – Massive Tome

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… also known as Doorstopper 😉

Margaret Atwood’s „Alias Grace“ is such a doorstopper and one I totally loved when I first read it and I’m looking forward to watching the mini-series on Netflix.

Let me introduce the story so you might wanna read it as well 😉

Toronto 1843, Grace a young servant is found guilty of the doppel murder of her employer. At the last second the death penalty gets transformed into a life long prison sentence. She spends years in prison before she can finally leave. In the household of the Director she meets the psychatrist Simon Jordan, who tries to get to the bottom of the story: is Grace indeed a cold blooded murderer or actually quite innocent?

 

The topic of Grace Marks kept the press in Canada, the US and Great Britain pretty busy at the time. The question if the – at the time sixteen year old servant – was responsible for the death of her employer and his lover was a question people tinkered about for ages.

The story is told from her perspective and from the young psychiatrist Simon Jordon who opened a modern mental asylum and hoped initially that the case of Grace Marks brings him enough popularity to have a positive influence on his asylum.

The story is supplemented with extracts from court and medical cases, newspaper articles, books and other sources.

Besides the question of Grace’s guilt, the novel draws an elaborate picture of the situation of women, poor people and the development of psychiatry in the 19th century.

The story is beautifully written, an absolute page turner that you will have a hard time to forget.

I hope I made a convincing case for Alias Grace – what was the last doorstopper you read and would like to recommend?

 

The book has been published in German under the same title by Piper Verlag.

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