Chosen by Rachel
Jobless and homeless during world financial collapse, Charmaine and Stan sign up for a social experiment where they alternate each month between a nice townhouse and the state prison.
➤ “Margaret Atwood has a knack for foreseeing the future, which, in her books, leads to the demise the humanity, so I read her latest work with caution, especially with the knowledge there is an element of truth to everything she writes In The Heart Goes Last, she has again created an alternative reality with many identifying markers, ensuring every aspect of the story feels strangely close to home. It tugs on the heart strings and gets the mind whirling. However, when the book turned into a bit of a sex comedy, my shoulders slumped – the usual substance that dominates her novels was lacking here. While I loved the book for its social commentary and creativity and entertainment, I think Atwood’s other masterpieces (I could name them all but will make special mention of Oryx & Crake and The Handmaid’s Tale) have set the bar extremely high for subsequent works. But The Heart Goes Last is still one I won’t forget and one worth reading.” – Rachel
➤ “I have to say I was a little disappointed in this book. I had such high expectations for Margaret Atwood! The first half had me held, but depressed me and made me feel sad. And the second half, although lifting the spirits with hope, left me feeling a bit cheapened, as if she had run out of passion to weave a clever yarn. It was a bit too easy, too sexed up, too much Elvis … that said, I loved her characters. I loved how they were relatable in their human weakness, yet fantastical. I loved it that I was led through, right to the end, even if that was a little disappointing. And I had a sense throughout that I was “watching” an Indie movie – quirky, strange yet mesmerising. Let us hope that, if ever made, this one is better than the book!” – Sonya
➤ “The skill of Margaret Atwood is undoubtably profound – great writing with an original story and written from a much younger voice than her age. I loved the whole book, however the first half was more plausible and it seemed to become more and more outlandish as the story went on (although some of the outlandish plots are actually a reality in some places according to research). It was intriguing and exciting, although I thought the ending was too neat and tidy and at odds with the rest of the story. Altogether an enjoyable book and I would love to read more of her work.” – Jo