Book Review by Cari Mayhew.
Margaret Atwood certainly has a knack for imagining novel structures of society! In this semi-dystopian setting, civilized society is struggling, and people are encouraged to opt in to living in a prison every other month, and living as normal civilians on the alternate months.
The story is focused on couple Stan and Charmaine who reside in a nice property for a month, before handing over the residency the following month to Max and Jasmine. On seeing a seductive note from Jasmine to Max, Stan begins to fantasize about her and determines to track Jasmine down. A stranger’s intervention stands in the way, however, with a startling revelation!
At this point, Book 1 of the 4-Part serialization comes to an abrupt end, with a dramatic change of circumstances for the 2 couples. There’s enough going on outside of the couples’ relationships to hint of the drama in the upcoming parts. There’s plenty of atmosphere in the short 85 pages, and although Book 1 doesn’t end in a cliffhanger it does leave you wanting.
Since finishing Book 1, I learned that the serialization has since had a complete re-write, and the full story can now be purchased as one book, entitled “The Heart Goes Last.” A quick scan of the new novel has shown that more description has been given as to how the dystopian circumstances came about.
I won’t be continuing with the serialization, but am sorely tempted to pick up The Heart Goes Last.