The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The possession of this book was one of those odd moments when I asked for what present I want. It was a gift, together with The Ice Princess from my close friend Dani when she visited last year before Christmas.
The book is the type of novel that allows you to follow a family history across more than one generation and reminds you never to envy anyone. Iris tells the main story, which is intertwined with a second novel. While Iris’ recount of her life feels painfully matter of fact at times, the second novel seems to bring the emotional charge so much needed. Through this braided style the two novels support each other. At times Iris’ controlled manner to deal with people in her life, kept me at a distance. With that said and me having a strong intuition about the outcome of the story line, I was still eager to continue reading.
There was a particular part that made me think about what we leave behind. Iris reflects at some point on the human need to be remembered and to leave a legacy. From the perspective of me as a spirit form, the inherited concept of legacy becomes meaningless. From the perspective of me as a physical form with an inherited personal and family history, it has some sort of informational value and potentially emotional value for people close to me. So as I am detaching myself from the need to have a legacy, I do appreciate the idea of a history. I am not planning what that would be since it would be a bit pointless. Most of the time what people want to leave behind and what actually happens after does not coincide. For example I always appreciate a family history told through symbolical objects. I am tempted to find meaning in every piece of paper or piece of clothing. Probably this reflection inspired from Iris’ thoughts had more resonance with me at the time due to the coincidence of me finishing the “Power of Now”.
I enjoyed reading a book and a family history set in Canada and tangentially mentioning Toronto with areas I have been to. Considering I was a newcomer there I never really felt I knew too much about the history of the place. I have a relatively easy time imagining Bucharest as the Little Paris 100 years ago since I have seen enough photos growing up which allows me to project that image quite easily. But I was never as intimate as that with Toronto maybe the newness of my experience there didn’t open that door. So reading about Toronto through a period of time when my family was so far away and I wasn’t even in any plan yet, was a nice connection.
Next time I will read something on a bathroom wall I will remember … No one and nothing I will just think of the word remember.. you will understand when you read the book ☺