Atwood's ability to embody her characters astounds me; in this novel we not only know what Clara, our narrator, is thinking and feeling, but what fabric feels like against her skin, what food tastes like against her tongue and, crucially, to her stomach. Atwood is a chameleon of a writer.
This novel sums up an era, I believe, for women everywhere, and perhaps is a precursor to Desperate Housewives. As always, I've found, with Atwood, it's the relationships which shine through the pages of this novel like a lighthouse to guide you through the uncertain waters of the plot.
She highlights the difference with perspicacity between male-female relationships and female-female relationships, portraying genuine friendship and solidarity between women even of the most unlikely pairings.