Opening with a terse account of her sister Laura’s death in 1945, it is followed
by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader
expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a- novel, a
science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet
rooms. With many threads and a series of events that follow one another at a
breathtaking pace, everything comes together and readers discover that the
story Atwood is telling is not only what it seems to be—but, in fact, much more.