Well, I just finished “Cat’s Eye” By Margaret Atwood, and I have to say, that while I enjoyed the book during my time reading it, the end has me stumped.
I seem to be going on a theme here, because “Cat’s Eye” is told from the perspective of an aging artist, talking about her childhood and friends, as they go from being children to adults. Hmm . . . I seem to remember the exact same point of view of a story in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” Strange that I happened to read two books in a row with that same perspective. And it’s not like I did it on purpose. I rarely read the synopsis of a book because I’m just too scared that the synopsis will give too much away. I’d much rather talk to people, find out a little bit about the book, and decide to read it (or not).
“Cat’s Eye” by Margaret Atwood is about Elaine Risley who is an aging artist, and, similar to “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” takes place when she is older and describes her childhood and experiences with a small group of girls, mainly focusing on the “friend” Cordelia.
Elaine grew up in a less than conventional way, with a father who studied bugs and would have the family on the road often. Elaine finally was able to make friends (besides with her older brother, Stephen) when she was eight years old and moved to Toronto. The group of girls she became friends with, led by Cordelia, began to bully Elaine. Elaine was a pushover but did eventually gain some guts. I’ll leave it at that since I don’t want to give too much away.
Another similarity to “A Prayer for Owen Meany” occurs when Elaine experiences a near-death experience and is rescued by, who she perceives is the Virgin Mary. In general, “Cat’s Eye” stays farther away from religious topics than “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”
As Elaine grows up, she becomes a stronger individual and we learn about her love life, her children, and her moderately successful career as a painter.
This could probably be a mini spoiler alert, so don’t finish this paragraph if you want to read the book yourself! I really did enjoy following Elaine’s journey through her life, and with her relationships with her family, boyfriend, husband, and on to being a painter. However, I don’t really understand the ending. Maybe I’m missing something, but to me, it was a well-written, interesting story about Elaine’s trip to Toronto, while in the midst of this Toronto trip, she explains about her childhood. The book begins with her trip to Toronto and ends with her plane ride home.
Usually I would not recommend a book where I didn’t like the ending, or where I thought the ending was lackluster. But I honestly did enjoy the book, just was unsatisfied with the ending.
Has anyone out there read “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry?
This was a book I read a few years ago, but I always think of when I read something where I dislike the ending. Basically, the book takes place in India and tells the story about a woman who is a tailor and has two men who come to work for her. It talks about their issues with the caste system, and I really enjoyed the book. I could not stand the ending, but because I liked the rest of the book so much, I still recommend it to people to read! It’s like that with “Cat’s Eye,” although “Cat’s Eye” was not as interesting as I remember “A Fine Balance” to be.
I give the authors credit, though, because it’s got to be so hard to write a book, especially one with a good ending. I also will give Margaret Atwood some leeway here because I usually love her books, and their endings.
Have you read anything that you really liked with a cruddy ending?