What a reward. This book reaffirms my love of Atwood's writing. She is brilliant. Her writing is simultaneously dense, layered, and yet so easily accessible and enjoyable. Other good books will have writing that every few pages may make me stop and savour a particular phrase or sentence. This book is a tumbling consecutive series of wonderfully styled descriptions and ideas. To write down all those that capture my delight would be to record half the book.
“Farewells can be shattering but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence. Time and distance blur the edges; then suddenly the beloved has arrived, and it’s noon with its merciless light, and every spot and pore and wrinkle and bristle stands clear.” [p95, on the return home of a soldier.]
"When you’re young, you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. You’re your own speeding car. You think you can get rid of things, and people too — leave them behind. You don’t yet know about the habit they have, of coming back." [P 499]