The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: August Edition

It's time for the always fun monthly meeting of book loving bloggers hosted by The Armchair Squid.  The idea is to share a book that you have read this month and then head out and check out what everybody else read.  It's a great way to add to your To Be Read list with books you may not have come across otherwise.

My favourite read this month comes from Canada's female literary legend, Margaret Atwood.  Having been a huge fan since the first time I read The Handmaid's Tale in high school I didn't think there was much she had written that I hadn't already devoured.  Apparently I was wrong.  

Alias Grace is a work of historical fiction based around Grace Marks a Canadian maid who in 1843 was convicted in the murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear.  I read through the trial after in the Toronto Library collection and it was almost as fascinating as the book to me.  A big part of the draw to this story for me is that this happened not far from where I live, there are places talked about in the book that are still standing and I pass them on a regular basis.  Nothing like that hometown draw.

I really enjoyed that the story being told from Grace's point of view starts long before her alleged part in the murder so you get the feeling that you are getting to know her along with her doctor as you read.  I also like that Atwood never really lets you know what she thinks about whether or not Marks is guilty.  It's up to you to draw your own conclusions.  

After finishing to book I wanted to visit the Presbyterian Church and cemetery where Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery are buried.  I am familiar with the cemetery, we used to hang out in it as teenagers because it's tucked out of the way behind the church off the main street. 

Presbyterian Church, Richmond Hill ON
The Presbyterian Church was founded in 1817 however this building was not built until 1880.  The cemetery is behind it and is virtually land locked because of how the town developed around it.  It's a beautiful church inside and out.  And those are my random book facts for this month. 

Make sure you swing by and check out what everyone else is reading and let us know what you read this month that you loved too.  


  1. I love Margaret Atwood, and that book is excellent. She is quite a prolific writer.


  2. I too love Margaret Atwood, but I haven't read too much from her. Maybe I should put her back on my to read list.

  3. Lovely review. Your personal touches with the photography and your own associations with places mentioned in the book add a lot.

  4. Don't you LOVE it when you can relate to the setting of a book? I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I've never read anything by Atwood. This book sounds like a great place to start. Thanks!

  5. I tried a Margaret Atwood book once but never finished it. This review gives me the impetus to try again. Love the church and the facts behind the story.

  6. I love that it's historical fiction. I have recently found a few of those I really enjoyed. Does it read like a thriller--courtroom stuff, or more an investigation--murder mystery-style?
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I still haven't gotten to any Atwood, though I have been meaning to for years.

  8. That actually sounds like an interesting story!


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