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Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride takes an intensive look at the lives of three women and how those lives are affected by a charming and manipulative woman named Zenia.
Though the novel takes place primarily in the past, it maintains an immediacy and suspense that feels very present, which is effective given that this is not an exceptionally "plot-based" novel. Of course, there still is a plot, and one I found very interesting at that, but the true strength of this novel is in its characters.
Each character is interesting, well developed, and real in a unique way, which really keeps the story engaging and authentic. I really liked how frustrated I could get with Zenia and the men in the novel (which is obviously the intended by Atwood).
Another aspect of the novel that I really appreciated is the prose. Something about the way it's written kept me reading. Atwood writes lovely descriptions and particularly full and authentic female characters, whose backstories are poignant and different from the struggles of other character's that I have read.
I also really liked that there is a dash of magical realism in the novel. This is very subtle and only really comes out toward the end, but it provides an extra layer that I found delightful. (I have a weak spot for magical realism.)
Overall, I really enjoyed the reading experience and would recommend this book to anyone interested in character studies or appreciative of beautiful prose writing. This is quality literary fiction.