Tuesday Intro: The Heart Goes Last

imageThis week, I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. I really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

Next up for me is The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood, an author I love though I heard conflicting things about this book. Here’s what it’s about…

imageLiving 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.

And here’s how it starts…

Sleeping in the car is cramped. Being a third-hand Honda, it’s no palace to begin with. If it was a van they’d have more room, but fat chance of affording one of those, even back when they thought they had money. Stan says they’re lucky to have any kind of a car at all, which is true, but their luckiness doesn’t make the car any bigger.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


  1. Emma, I really enjoyed the audio version of this one. I hope you like it.

    1. Me too…I do love her books!

  2. I’m intrigued by the blurb on this one and I’ve wanted to read Atwood for awhile. I like the first paragraph so I’d definitely keep reading!

    1. It does sound like it will be good but I remember mixed reviews. She can be an author you love or hate I guess…I tried to get my book club to do The Robber Bride (one of my favourites) and no one finished it!

  3. I remember reading about this one a while back and seeing mostly positive reviews. In fact, I just noticed that I bought it and it’s on my Kindle. LOL

    The idea of trading living in a prison every other month for a home seems so awful, but kind of interesting as well. I think my biggest thing would be someone else living in my house while I wasn’t there. 🙂

    1. Too funny…I sometimes wonder how books end up on my kindle – I swear I don’t remember buying them! I like the idea but agree, sharing houses…not for me.

  4. This sounds like a story I would really like to read.
    Have added to my tbr
    Here is my review

    1. I do hope it’s good…I don’t want to be disappointed!

  5. I have been pondering this one…I love a lot of what this author has written…didn’t really enjoy the Madd Addam trilogy…LOL. This might be slightly less crazy than that, so I’m adding it to my list.

    Here’s mine: “MOST WANTED”

    1. I know what you mean, though I ended up loving Maddaddam on my second reading. I am nervous about starting this one.

  6. I’m in two minds about this although I do like that opening – will look forward to hearing what you think before making my mind up!

    1. I was too but it’s Margaret Atwood so I can’t let some less than positive reviews put me off. I hope I’m not disappointed

  7. I gave up on reading Atwood after Handmaid’s Tale, but I like the opening and the blurb. I think I’ll wait and see what you think.

    1. I think sometimes she is one of those authors people take to or don’t- the handmaids tale I read as a teenager and was hooked.

  8. I have seen good and meh reviews on this one, but I think it sounds interesting. It is on my “check the library” list. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Me too. She can divide opinion though!

  9. It’s interesting. I would have to continue reading it simply because it’s written by Margaret Atwood. What happened to this couple’s money? That’s what I would like to know. Not sure of the relationship between the alternates either. Who falls in love with whom?

    1. It’s hard to not read her books I think. I am expecting lots of twists or an interesting ending.

  10. This just bodes of no good. The blurb has this creepy vibe to it. Despite that, I think I’d keep reading just because it sounds intriguing, and you know something is going down. I’ll be participating next week!

    1. Having just finished I think it’s fair to say it’s pretty much all downhill for the main characters..

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