Life Before Man
A multi-perspective novel, Life Before Man depicts a decaying Toronto-based marriage and the consequences of our protagonists’ extramarital affairs. When Elizabeth and Nate resort to cheating, they do so with a clear disregard for each other’s feelings. Into the fray come lovers, past and present with each chapter presented from a particular character's perspective. Atwood decidedly chooses to write flawed, and at times unlikeable, individuals while enticing the reader to see both sides of this muddled relationship: male, female, right, wrong and everything in-between. Don’t expect a happy ending, but do expect Atwood to succinctly crystallize the banality of modern life with terrifying ease.