The car would be warm, and would smell of apple cores: the boys often ate apples in the car on the way to the city. Tig and Nell would hold hands, on the lonelier and less icy stretches of road. Instead of talking they would listen to the radio. At a certain distance from the city it was mostly country and western. Nell liked the songs of yearning. Tig liked the songs of regret.
Atwood still has that Atwood style but she seems a little more removed from her material than she has in earlier writing. The book is written as a series of stories but it seems to follow one character, Nell, through her life (perhaps the fact that it is broken up into stories rather than written as one novel is what gives me that sense of distance?) I am not entirely convinced that Nell is always the same character, though she always shares similar characteristics (in one story older brothers pop up who have never been mentioned before~this is okay by me i think short stories only need to carry on their own continuity and perhaps that is why Atwood chose this form~it somewhat reminded me of the Rhoda Manning stories by Ellen Gilchrist~excellent stories i would love to read again but i think i loaned my copy out~besides which Atwood's short prose are some of my favourite books~as well as short stories in general it is a form which is slipping into obscurity.)