Book Review for “The Heart Goes Last” by Margaret Atwood



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.

The Heart Goes Last Cover

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. How much would you give up to have the basic necessities of life? Would you give up your freedom?

This book brings to life the desperation of two people who have lost everything. They are living in their car and barely surviving. They are the embodiment of what’s happened to what was once the middle class.  

There is no middle class now. Just a whole lot of criminals. This is what happens when an unstable system collapses. 

But, we need solutions to these problems right? People need jobs. Laws have to be upheld. For profit prison type compounds are the answer here. You go in, but you can never come out. Ever.

Stan and Charmaine sign away their rights. Sign away their freedom. They do this because they feel they have no other choice. Sure they can go back to the outside. Sure they will have freedom there. Freedom to be attacked and robbed and killed. Freedom to starve. Freedom to be homeless. When someone is offering you a home, food, clothing and a job…..why not take it? At this point, what do they have to lose?

All they have to do is work and rotate in and out of prisons. Or at least that’s what they’re told. They aren’t told about the organ harvesting. They aren’t told about the baby blood collection and sales. They aren’t told about the mind zapping of human beings to be turned into living sex robots. 

This book gives a chilling look into just how far we as a species can fall. It shows just how much we will give up to survive. It also shows how far people with power will go when they are unchecked.

It’s not unrealistic either. Stop and think about it. 

I enjoyed reading this book. The characters have such depth. There is nothing held back. No thought unspoken. No fantasy apologetically sugared over. Its a look into how our minds work without the filter we put our words through before they hit our mouth.

This author is brilliant.

Full 5 from me.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: The Heart Goes Last | Series:  N/A  |  Author(s): Margaret Atwood |Publisher: Anchor Publishing (re-print) / Publication Date: 8-9-2016  (re-print) |Pages: 400 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1101912362  | Genre(s): Science Fiction / Dystopian |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2015 |Source: Copy from Netgally

One thought on “Book Review for “The Heart Goes Last” by Margaret Atwood

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