The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
A Positron Novel
Genres: Adult, Literary Fiction.
Release Date: 24th September 2015.
Living in their car, surviving on tips, Charmaine and Stan are in a desperate state. So, when they see an advertisement for Consilience, a ‘social experiment’ offering stable jobs and a home of their own, they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month – swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But then, unknown to each other, Stan and Charmaine develop passionate obsessions with their ‘Alternates,’ the couple that occupy their house when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire begin to take over.
Book Review ~ ‘The Heart Goes Last’ by Margaret Atwood ~ 5 Stars!
This was a real winner from Margaret Atwood.
Because I LOVED Margaret Atwood’s other books so much, I was slightly nervous about starting ‘The Heart Goes Last’. I just didn’t want to part with the great impression they had left on me. But here I am after finishing ‘The Heart Goes Last’, and I am yet again in awe of Atwood’s talent!
This is a very different kind of book for me. but I was won over straight away. I identified with Stan and Charmaine as real people, living with the struggles that the fall of society has left them with, and the flaws that made them up. They were still a relatively new married couple, but Atwood gave us the insight straight away that sometimes love isn’t enough. Living in a car off the tips from Charmaine’s waitressing job would cause tension between even the most loving couple. It was great to see how their desperation to make a better life for themselves overcame their uncertainty about the Consilience experiment.
I love seeing how desperation will feed people into making choices they wouldn’t normally, and throughout this book I could see the choices for the characters being taken away gradually until there was no easy answer. But it wasn’t just this that made this book such a winner for me. It was how darkly comic it was. I laughed so much, yet not because it was overtly funny, but because of how true it was. Stan and Charmaine battle a lot through their story, a dystopian crumbling world, a life consisting of a month in and then a month out of prison, adultery and sabotage, yet throughout their views on life, their views on their relationship with each other, their thoughts on the temptations that cross their paths, all was done so with a human honesty, that I found both dark, yet hugely amusing. People are still people, even when the world is falling apart!
This story has everything I would have wanted from it, and I loved every bit! If you are a dystopian fan, a literary fiction fan, or even just looking for a good book. then you should definitely give ‘The Heart Goes Last’ a try!
A great book from one of my favourite writers!
*Review copy was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*