A few months ago a second hand bookshop opened up down at our corner shops. I was so excited, now I didn’t have to catch a bus to the big shopping centre to get my literary fix. I was even more excited when I found out that all the books were $2.50. What a bargain! ‘The Blind Assassin’ was the first book I bought. I had wanted to read this book for a while but there were always others. I could not pass on this opportunity, the price was unbeatable and I could then cross number 61 off my list.
‘The Blind Assassin’ follows the societal life of the Chase sisters. Both Iris and Laura are born into “old money” and with that come certain obligations and life lessons. With these privileges also comes pain, the emotional death of your father, growing up with a single parent and living through World War II. All three provide extra hardships for emotionally delicate and isolated young women.
Laura Chase is a ghostly presence in the book. She was always considered a “special” child. Iris is the older one, (I can relate with that) and therefore is in charge and accountable for everything her younger sister does. It is this accountability and the need to look after her family that leads Iris to making one of the biggest mistakes of her life.
This is an interesting story written around the book that Laura wrote within this book (another confusing one like ‘The Bride Stripped Bare’). The characters are unique but at the same time there are aspects that you can relate to. From the first pages I was absorbed. I was engaged with the rambling through the family history and watching the past influence the present.
This book won the 2000 Booker Prize and I can understand why. It is an intricate tale of an old woman trying to set the story straight and reveal the past to the future generation.