The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride

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Zenia is beautiful, smart and greedy, by turns manipulative and vulnerable, needy and ruthless; a man's dream and a woman"s nightmare. She is also dead. Just to make sure Tony, Roz andd Charis are there for the funeral. But five years on, as the three women share an indulgent, sisterly lunch, the unthinkable happens; 'with waves of ill will flowing out of her like cosmic radiation', Zenia is more

Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 128 x 188 x 40mm | 381.02g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1853817228
  • 9781853817229
  • 10,246

Review Text

Antonia (Tony), Karen (Charis), and Roz are three 50-ish Toronto friends, pals since college, all of whom have had to negotiate (and none too well) the treacheries of another friend, Zenia - someone who in the past has stolen a significant man from each of the others. But Zenia, they are led relievedly to understand, has been dead for some years - blown up in a Beirut bomb blast; they had carefully attended, together, her memorial service to make doubly sure. Yet why does the very selfsame Zenia now appear across the room one afternoon at a restaurant where the three women are lunching? It creates turmoil. Tony - a college military historian with a milquetoasty composer husband and an annoying tic of spelling words backwards; doggedly hippie Charis, New Age-y survivor of incest, and lover of a US draft-dodger; and Roz, power-businesswoman despite herself, wife of a sad-sack philanderer - all of the massed trio views Zenia not only as a communal threat, but as a chastening, changeable contrast to the courses of their own lives. Atwood (Wilderness Tips, 1991; Cat's Eye, 1989, etc.) does a professionally tidy job with the outline of this social comedy, but apart from some poetic turbocharging around Charis's memories of abuse, plus a nice capture of modern manners most of the time, the book lacks luster: it could be a more brittle, smarter Rona Jaffe novel. Atwood seems to want to make the three unlikely friends both representative of their age, place, and times - but also not: the flaky names and square-peg lifestyles argue for an individualism none of the women quite achieves. And Zenia, the fox among these chickens, is utterly cloudy, a trope instead of a character. Amusing sometimes, but flogged and padded - hardly one of Atwood's better efforts. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

It stirs depths that CAT'S EYE did not reach, and grants deeper, stronger powers to women's friendship in distress Marina Warner Margaret Atwood's new novel is a fairy tale of malicious simplicity. Fay Weldon's SHE-DEVIL meets John Updike's WITCHES OF EASTWICK...Vividly written, acutely observed and very likely the most intelligently tongue in cheek novel of the year. Salman Rushdie, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY Excitements, wit and insight sizzle across the pages. Atwood's survey of impulses that bedevil life seethes with imagination, inventiveness and intelligence. Even she has never written better than in this novel of glittering breadth and dark, eerie depths. SUNDAY TIMES The virtuosity with which Margaret Atwood's prose moves between rage and wit, poignancy and suspense, fantasy and realism makesTHE ROBBER BRIDE a stimulating read. THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPHshow more

About Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and now Oryx and Crake for the 2003 Booker prize. She has won many literary prizes in other more