Review: Bluebeard's Egg

Bluebeard's EggBluebeard's Egg
by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bluebeard's Egg / 0-385-49104-2

This collection of Atwood stories includes:

- Significant Moments in the Life of my Mother
- Hurricane Hazel
- Loulou
- Uglypuss
- Betty
- Bluebeard's Egg
- Spring Song of the Frogs
- Scarlet Ibis
- The Salt Garden
- The Sin Eater
- The Sunrise
- Unearthing Suite

Most of the stories revolve around the superb Atwood device of women in comfortable, "correct" lives, yet who are unbearably sad and alone. Many of these women have relationships outside of themselves - husbands, lovers, mothers, children - yet, they do not have anyone with whom they truly connect with. Though they devote much of their time, energy, and life to caring for the needs of others, no one else cares for their own needs, particularly their emotional needs.

However, Atwood does not limit herself purely to emotionally bereft women - "Uglypuss" tells the story of a disintegrating relationship from both the male and female points of view, and manages to make the reader both sympathetic and non-sympathetic to both parties. This sort of literary skill is highly rare and must be experienced to be believed. The trip is not always enjoyable - many of these stories exude a profound sense of loss and sadness - but it is meaningful and worthwhile.

~ Ana Mardoll

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