I bought this book early this morning. I was in the mood for Atwood. This has come to mean a very specific thing for me. I want to say dark but that's unfair to Atwood. Her works are not necessarily dark, though they do tend to tap into those types of feelings, characters. "Deep" that's a better word. Atwood for me is something deep. She has a way of burrowing into the furthest reaches of your mind, your heart, she finds the humanity that exists and brings it to the front.
Surfacing is about an unnamed woman who returns to her hometown in Canada. She is searching for her father in a cabin in the woods where she was raised. She is on this journey with her lover and another married couple. As the days progress, this woman finds herself returning to nature, in every sense of that word. She becomes primal, driven mad, as she returns to this original state. It's not happy book. It's heartbreaking and beautiful. There's a purity to her madness, to this return to nature as she slowly loses her friends, her family, her memories, her sense of self.
It's not a long novel at 208 pages. I finished it in a single day. Something about this novel pulled me in and I felt compelled to finish it in a day. It felt wrong to read this in anything larger than single sitting. As if I were betraying the novel, it's unnamed female protagonist. I needed to follow her on this journey, to see it to the end, to be done with it. I don't think I could ever read this work again. It's too intense, too heart-breaking.
This book is definitely worth reading, but it's not for everyone. I think you have to be in the mood for something like this, you have to want to read Atwood. And unless you've read a book by her, it's difficult to explain what this means. What it means to read an Atwood story or novel. Five stars.