The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A married couple trying to survive in the middle of an economic and social collapse finds out about a Positron Project and it seems to be the answer to their prayers. An employment where everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in for six months out of the year. Residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system on alternating months when this period is completed they go back to their "regular" lives. These could be fine until one of the members of the couple gets involved with the other person who lives in their house during the months when they are in the prison. The life of one of these persons is in danger and everything turns to look much different than an answer to prayers.
Publisher: Toronto :, McClelland & Stewart,, [2015]
Description: xii, 308 pages ; 24 cm
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780771009112
Branch Call Number: Atwo
Additional Contributors: Atwood, Margaret, 1939- Heart goes last


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

SPPL_Jonathan Mar 23, 2018

I'm not sure Atwood gets enough credit for her wicked sense of humor. What starts out like another distressing dystopic survival story turns into a more personal tale of sexual betrayal and revenge. Not for everyone, but I ate it up.

Jul 31, 2017

The weirdest book I've ever read. Absolute garbage.

c_mendiola Jul 27, 2017

Don't know if this is agreeable with, but this book very much reminds me of a Shakespearean comedy--full of crazy and unpredictable twists and turns and complete with a satisfying ending. Definitely an entertaining read; really allows you to see the different possible solutions to crises that are relatable to the ones presently experienced by society.

jeana12 May 23, 2017

This book is so good , I could not put it down! I am so surprised at the negative comments left for this book. The end does get touch on the side of the absurd and camp, but all in all it's a very voracious and fun read.

Mar 16, 2017

I was excited about the back cover summary, but this novel really let me down. I found myself scanning and skipping chunks of rambling, unnecessary minutiae just to get through it to see how it would end. That too was disappointing. Charmaine with her golly-gee whiz outlook was trite and tiresome--the dumb blonde. I think writing this story from brother Connor's point of view might have been refreshing. This author has a huge following, and I did read The Handmaid's Tale, but after this experience, I won't be joining the ranks of devotees. Maybe this is an example of writers who gain popularity and become sloppy about results (Stephen King) producing pages instead of plot.

Feb 13, 2017

I always read Margaret Atwood - it's a rule! I did enjoy this book but it isn't my favourite. I still find her earlier work the most compelling. However, the thing about Margaret Atwood is that even though she is setting books in the future, there is a scary reality.

Oct 05, 2016

Charmaine is a Pollyanna-esque woman who tries to see the good in every situation. Stan, her husband, does not. They aren't exactly opposites, but there's quite a gap; however, when they have the opportunity to join Consiliance and the Positron Project, a chance that includes a home, jobs, enough food, both Stan and Charmaine sign on, even if Stan is more wary.
Well, it IS Atwood's work, so you know it's all going to go to heck, but I bet you aren't expecting raunchy sexual excapades, power-hungry business execs, the poor and disenfranchised getting the shaft (of a needle), Elvis and Marilyn impersonators (both live and robotic), and offshoots of The Blue Man Group. . .
Well, maybe you aren't surprised by that:) This is a funny and touching story about love, a recession, and Possiblibots.

Sep 27, 2016

An interesting scenario where a young couple, rendered homeless by a financial crisis, agree to be part of a project whereby citizens spend half their time in a heavily controlled, suburban existence in a town that revolves around the provision of services to a large prison complex ; the other half of their lives as prisoners in that same prison. It is only when they, separately, break the rules that they realize the manipulation and surveillance that have willingly exposed themselves to. Some fascinating ideas here, but too many rather farcical complications added to the plot.
See my complete review at:

Sep 03, 2016

OH MY GOSH, I could not put this book down!!!! So, so good.
Good readable style and a great story that makes you think...

Definitely recommend. How have I not been reading Margaret Atwood all these years????

ArapahoeAndrew Aug 01, 2016

Eh. I almost gave up around page 100, then the plot took off for a bit, then stalled again but I was too committed to actually give up. The writing was fine; the character perspectives made things interesting at times. Things never felt suspenseful or uncertain at any point.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

May 05, 2016

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around--and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in ... for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes. At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top