Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) biblical fiction

☀ [PDF / Epub] ★ Lady Oracle By Margaret Atwood ✍ –

I Planned My Death Carefully Unlike My Life, Which Meandered Along From One Thing To Another, Despite My Feeble Attempts To Control It At First I Thought I D Managed It From Fat Girl To Thin, From Red Hair To Mud Brown, From London To Toronto, From Polish Count To Radical Husband Joan Foster Is Utterly Confused By Her Life Of Multiple Identities She Decides To Escape To An Italian Hill Town To Take Stock Of Her Life But First, She Must Organise Her Death

10 thoughts on “Lady Oracle

  1. says:

    The secrets of self Margaret Atwood has wowed me again, with this quirky 1976 delight It s surprisingly playful and humorous for Atwood , but also brings with it her trademark not messing around intelligence when it comes to womanhood, self, body and love.Joan is our protagonist, our red headed Botticellian heroine, who begins the book with this tantalising line I planned my death carefully unlike my life, which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it.Have you ever wanted to start fresh shed your life like a snake worming out of an old skin, and leave it behind Joan has done it faked her death and re emerged in a small Italian village She is, at heart, an escape artist She writes gothic romances, she lives under two identities, and the person she presents on the outside is only one reflection of the whole Her interior world is secretive, hidden, claustrophobic Soon, the secrets start to collide, in a most inconvenient fashion Atwood writes so well about the cruelties of childhood, and about the opposing natures of freedom and love I couldn t help but be pulled along in the story, which was at times relatable the complexities of the mother daughter relationship , heartwarming the character of Aunt Lou was my favourite by far , a bit ridiculous the Royal Porcupine need I say , and frightening a former lover turned stalker who becomes than a little menacing She also plays with the literary world and its conventions When Joan unexpectedly becomes a published literary poet, she is attacked by a male interviewer who tries to skewer her and force her into the Women s Lib mold, something she wiggles out of, just like MA would and still does.And it forces the question what is the truth, when so many forms of truth exist in one person Many of the characters in this novel are two sides of the same coin It is impossible to be exactly as one presents, or present exactly as one is.I enjoyed this ride from beginning to end I enjoyed being privy to Joan s messy life, because all lives are messy While this book is not as chocked full of literary protein as other books by this author, it reminds me why she continues to knock her readers socks off, even 41 years after this was published.

  2. says:

    I ve read quite a lot of Margaret Atwood and very much enjoy her writing, both style and issues she raises I like her in psychological scene and don t shy away from her dystopian face either Lady Oracle is her earlier work and truly didn t know what to expect there I also have a problem to what genre the novel in fact belongs She seems to feel comfortable in gothic romance, black comedy and quasi noir novel though it s the psychological portrait and depth I m looking for in her novels It starts in Italy when Joan Foster after simulating own death decides to wait all upheaval out and catch her breath Joan, a seemingly unremarkable, somewhat skittish and gauche girl that even her husband, by the way a wicked loser himself, looks down on is not entirely a person everyone thinks she is And she is a recognized author of highly acclaimed even if questionable debut novel Lady Oracle But it s only half of it For as it shows Joan as Luisa Delcourt is a woman with vivid imagination and quite successful writer of historical romances Though to tell the truth we are not sure if she is not someone else yet.Quite sizeable part of the novel concerns Joan s miserable childhood, inability to be accepted by peer group, rebellious, contrary even nature and her troubled relations with her overbearing and demanding, highly disappointing in the end, mother And I think it s a very good part but Atwood after a while waves this thread aside and changes the tone She will return to it some years later, develops and deepens it, creating brilliant and incomparable Cat s eye But now our unfortunate though sympathetic heroine drifts uncertainly between her various incarnations, lying and prevaricating, taking pot luck and believing that she will finally become a real self Her life dilemmas and torments are intertwined with ludicrous adventures of fictional protagonists from her trashy romances and create, all in all, humorous and warm novel, apparently light but under the surface some deeper thoughts are hidden.It s not the best work of Atwood for sure but it had its moments and left me rather satisfied It was touching and amusing, I couldn t help but laugh reading some chapters, I enjoyed the language and her power of observation Had I read it at the beginning of my acquaintanceship with Atwood s writing definitely would have been curious how she developed as a writer Since I started my adventure with her works with her later and mature novels I think it was very nice to see her younger self either.3,5 5

  3. says:

    The premise of this book intrigued me a main character with several identities running from all of them by faking her own death seems dramatic for an Atwood novel Did it all get too complicated Well yes Joan Foster is an escape artist, a medium maybe , wife, lover, fat girl, communist but not really, and authors two different kinds In the opening of the book, she has escaped all of this She s had enough But it s not easy running from your other selves, and as she sits in her hideout, she thinks back on her life We start with her childhood, naturally This takes up a rather lot of the book, which I liked, I always enjoy reading about childhoods And this one centers around Joan s difficult relationship with her mother But soon enough Joan grows up and meets a man, and then another and later on, another All of them have a different view of who she is Not because she lies to them although she does but mostly because of their own prejudices, their own world views, their backgrounds, their view on women Sometimes this is annoying, because several of them treats her like a child, telling her how she should live her life in their kitchen, mostly And of course, if she protests, it s only because she doesn t know what s good for her and she ll change her mind later So the feminist aspect is there, as always, but it s not the crux of the story Not all the men in the book are like this, and they are certainly very different from each other The point is rather that everyone Joan at some time feels close to seems to pull their own view of her down over her head, and never sees the real Joan, if there even is such a thing Although Joan tries to shape some of her identities herself, she can t control or foresee the outcome Mostly they are a mix of her own view of herself and how others see her And THAT is the crux of the book How are identities shaped Sure, we have somewhat stable personality traits, but identities will always be created, shaped and re shaped in the meeting point between ourselves and other people The novel does a great job in exploring how this works, and how it often makes a mess And although Joan is critical and analyses a lot of what happens to her quite thoroughly, she rarely voices her opinions clearly to the people around her, and even when she tries to take hold of things, she is often just pulled along with everything that happens And that s real life, I suppose We are not always in control There is a bit of farce to this, but tragic farce Relationships are though.I liked that the last few chapters were a bit action filled than usual for Atwood, and immediate than just looking back on past events, which her main characters does a lot And her prose is always good All the characters are very well rounded they all feel deep and like real individuals one of the things I love about Atwood Her characters feel real And all their personal quirks comes together in the plot, everything plays a part in how it all turns out A bit complicated, but well put together.

  4. says:

    At the beginning of Lady Oracle, Joan Foster is hold up in her Italian apartment after faking her death Back in Canada, Foster was hailed as a literary sensation and a major author on the rise, so why did she choose to die at the height of her hype In many ways, Lady Oracle is the polar opposite of Atwood s previous novel Surfacing Surfacing is a quiet, introverted, atmospheric novel that concerns only a handful of characters over a few days Lady Oracle is a globe trotting saga that follows our protagonist from early childhood up to the present day in a style that mirrors the Gothic romances that she secretly authors This novel is bloated but enjoyable It is clear that Atwood had a lot of fun with this one As it was written has a partial pastiche of Gothic romance novels, there are a lot of scenarios and characters that fall into the realm of the ridiculous I mean, there is literally a Polish count in here and a dude called the Royal Porcupine As the novel is told through flashbacks when the author is in self exile in Italy, a lot of her memories read like heightened fantasies which leads you to question just how truthful she is being My favourite parts of the novel were the early chapters when Joan was recounting her early childhood She was an obese child who found solace in the company of her Aunt Lou These are the most touching and, shall I say rational , chapters before everything turns slightly bonkers Overall, I feel this novel needed a better editor My edition almost hits the 400 page mark and that is so totally unnecessary for this novel One could argue that Atwood was somewhat over indulgent in her tale of Joan Foster and gets carried away in the minute details and events of her life which have no overall impact on the plot It is as if post Surfacing she decided to have the literary equivalent of a binge and pen a novel which is essentially all plot and nothing much else But there are many fun aspects to Atwood s binge I liked this one, but it is odd.

  5. says:

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  6. says:

    Just who is Joan Foster Is she the emotional, over eating teen Is she the unknown creator of the commercial historical romances, that fill bookstore shelves with their covers of buxom, swooning damsels Or is she the mysterious, red headed and suave figure behind the renowned publication of Lady Oracle Right now she is none of those people Right now she is dead.Much of this novel reminded me of another of Atwood s masterpieces, Cat s Eye I found they appealed to me in the similar execution of narrative The reader is first introduced to the present day protagonist before a rambling exploration of her life is exposed through lengthy flashbacks, that are plotted over the course of the entire novel and require reading right to the very end to discover the entire, buried truth.Also like so many of Atwood s other work, I found this discoursed on much than just the direct story line Identity crises, familial disquiet, mental illness, and other distressing topics were covered and, in her usual style, I found much was left for the reader to interpret between what the protagonist actually deigned to expose of herself and what the author left for us to puzzle out.

  7. says:

    I am a big Margaret Atwood fan, mainly for her writing Her books don t always have a lot of plot and sometimes I find her endings too pat, but I still devour her books for the language Lady Oracle has one of my favorite beginnings to a book I planned my death carefully unlike my life, which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it My life had a tendency to spread, get flabby, to scroll and festoon life the frame of a baroque mirror, which came from following the line of least resistance I wanted my death, by contrast, to be neat and simple, understated, even a little severe, like a Quaker church or the basic black dress with a single strand of pearls

  8. says:

    Sickly funny, in a way that s typically attributed only to men The book begins with the narrator s a writer of Harlequin romances own faked death and becomes, finally, a woman writer enjoying her woman ness, fat jokes and all You could talk to this book over coffee about things that matter in your life, and it wouldn t start crying and gushing about Oprah Plus it s got a delicious title I can t believe it is a second novel.

  9. says:

    This book really pissed me off I guess there s no real character arc The main character starts out weak, unself aware and just really messed up for plenty of good reason, so I did sympathize with her but nothing has really changed by the end of the book She s still messed up and unself aware Ugh The whole book made me feel really impatient and uncomfortable I felt kind of sick and nervous the whole time I was reading it, as if doom was just around the corner That probably says a lot for the power of Atwood s writing, I guess And the book was good enough to read all the way to the end Atwood is certainly a good writer But I just didn t like anyone in the book, except Aunt Lou, who s a secondary character who doesn t get much page time in the story.

  10. says:

    Who is Joan Foster I m not sure she knows She juggles two identities, has a whole career her husband doesn t know about, a past she hides from everyone To get away from it all and start fresh, she fakes her death and takes off to a small Italian village, where she gets a chance to think back on exactly how she got there.That sounds simple enough, but in Atwood s hands it turns into a story at once hilarious and tragic Joan s story made me think of the actual multiple identities we carry around with us all the time the person we are at work, with our family, with our friends are not always exactly the same person, are they But she has taken this reality to a whole other level Margaret Atwood s prose is as elegant and fluid as ever She digs deep into Joan s childhood in a away only she can, showing how some small things can travel with you for a very long time The mother who is attached to objects and images than to the reality of her life is chillingly believable, as is the shell shocked and emotionally detached father That a couple like that should spawn a young girl who wants to be someone else is not really surprising By way of Joan s career as a writer of trashy Gothic romance, an interesting commentary about the virtues of escapist writing is made it s fun and important , and if there is one theme in this book, it s definitely escape Running away from a over bearing mother, from a loathed self image, from an unsatisfying lover, from a life one perceives as failed Joan runs, runs, runs and still can t quite free herself.Not one of Atwood s best, but a very interesting and enjoyable book I just wish the ending had been a little bit tidy.