- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Reissue edition (16 March 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385491050
- ISBN-13: 978-0385491051
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,03,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Surfacing Paperback – 16 Mar 1998
|Paperback, 16 Mar 1998||
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From the Inside Flap
Part detective novel, part psychological thriller, "Surfacing is the story of a talented woman artist who goes in search of her missing father on a remote island in northern Quebec. Setting out with her lover and another young couple, she soon finds herself captivated by the isolated setting, where a marriage begins to fall apart, violence and death lurk just beneath the surface, and sex becomes a catalyst for conflict and dangerous choices. "Surfacing is a work permeated with an aura of suspense, complex with layered meanings, and written in brilliant, diamond-sharp prose. Here is a rich mine of ideas from an extraordinary writer about contemporary life and nature, families and marriage, and about women fragmented...and becoming whole.
About the Author
MARGARET ATWOOD is the author of more than twenty-five books, including fiction, poetry, and essays. Her most recent works include the bestselling novels Alias Grace and The Robber Bride and the collections Wilderness Tips and Good Bones and Simple Murders. She lives in Toronto.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Surfacing follows a nameless protagonist as she returns to her childhood home on an isolated island in Quebec after the mysterious disappearance of her father. Though very little as far as action happens in the novel, the woman's experience of suddenly being immersed in a a past that she fled from slowly drives her into delusion and madness. Many of the themes, such as not fitting in with your childhood world or your current one and the societal expectations put on women, I found very relatable. I must confess that running theme of Canadian independence was beyond me.
Surfacing is one woman's story of leaving home because she did not fit in, only to find the new life that she's constructed is equally foreign to her. She confesses that she does not love Joe, the man she lives with, and that her career is something she fell into. Though most of us aren't driven mad by alienation, most of us can relate to it.
Surfacing is about an unnamed woman who returns to her hometown in Canada. She is searching for her father in a cabin in the woods where she was raised. She is on this journey with her lover and another married couple. As the days progress, this woman finds herself returning to nature, in every sense of that word. She becomes primal, driven mad, as she returns to this original state. It's not happy book. It's heartbreaking and beautiful. There's a purity to her madness, to this return to nature as she slowly loses her friends, her family, her memories, her sense of self.
It's not a long novel at 208 pages. I finished it in a single day. Something about this novel pulled me in and I felt compelled to finish it in a day. It felt wrong to read this in anything larger than single sitting. As if I were betraying the novel, it's unnamed female protagonist. I needed to follow her on this journey, to see it to the end, to be done with it. I don't think I could ever read this work again. It's too intense, too heart-breaking.
This book is definitely worth reading, but it's not for everyone. I think you have to be in the mood for something like this, you have to want to read Atwood. And unless you've read a book by her, it's difficult to explain what this means. What it means to read an Atwood story or novel. Five stars.
And I get it. It was super well-written. I was convinced with the narrator's storyline (up until, ya know, that point)... but the book just felt misconstrued. It first was reading like a murder mystery, then a thriller, then it got deep. And I just didn't like it.