Book Review: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood



The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood


Published: 2015

Format: eBook

Pages: 320

Genre: Dystopian

WARNING: NEGATIVE REVIEW. Everyone has their own tastes and opinions and these are mine. I’m sure there are people who enjoyed this. Please let me know if you are one of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Charmaine and Stan have lived through a recession and have, like many around them, been living in their car surviving of minimal money. Then they get the opportunity to take part in a social experiment, giving them a house and guaranteed jobs. The catch? They must spend every other month in prison.

I was excited to try this book. I’ve heard so many good things about Margaret Atwood’s work and this blurb sucked me right in. A psychological novel exploring how characters cope with the dual lives they were expected to lead. Unfortunately I was disappointed.

Firstly I didn’t particularly get on with Atwood’s writing style. For the majority of the novel we are told about things that have happened rather than ‘shown’. For example, once the characters are signed up to the experiment we skip ahead a year with just a few throw away lines about how the existing prisoners and participants in the experiment coped at the beginning. I feel like how people initially adapted could have been explored brilliantly rather than being skipped over.

If I wasn’t a fan of this novel while reading, the ending was the nail in the coffin. In fact it made me kind of angry.

Overall this wasn’t for me at all. Partly because I went into this expecting something different from the blurb (this ‘passionate obsession’ was barely featured), and partly this just wasn’t a style of writing I could get along with.

With so much praise for Margaret Atwood, I will definitely give another of her books a go. Any recommendations?



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