When I was looking in the second hand bookshop I stumbled on this book. I had heard of Margaret Atwood before but I hadn’t read any of her books at the time, I looked at the cover and it didn’t really look that interesting (different one to pictured) but it was only $2. I bought it and I thought that if I don’t read it then I have only lost $2. Well I just discovered the book in the cupboard the other day and I didn’t have any others to read so I began. I was instantly hooked, I finished the whole book in two days and could not put it down.
This book is about the constant battles between women over men. About the power some women have over men, how they take what isn’t theirs, use and then discard. I like that the main evil character was a woman, preying on men instead of the cliched opposite. This woman was one horrible man-eater. While reading this book and thinking of the evil nature of Zenia (the witch of the story) I felt like I had read a similar character some where else, then it came to me. In East of Eden Kate is a cold, unfeeling, villainous woman similar to this character. They have the same vindictive nature they both do things for the sole reason of hurting people. I also enjoyed the extreme nature of Zenia. You cannot sympathise with this woman, who uses here friends and then stabs them in the back, using their men as the blade.
The story is told so that the three women (Tony, Charis and Roz) that are betrayed by Zenia get to tell their stories. They each begin their tales form when they were growing up and continue on to that fateful day when they met the vampiress (there is a reference that says some thing similar to ‘people like Zenia must be invited into your home before she can enter’. This is the same for vampires, the vampiress is a play on the names form the book). This story also shows the gullible nature of women and their willingness to always look for the good in someone, even when it is not there.
I recommend this book to anyone but especially women who enjoy good stories, complex characters and good women overcoming the bitch. Though the ending of this book leaves you questioning, wanting answers and identity revelations but alas they never eventuate. I think Margaret Atwood is on the way to becoming one of my favourite writers.