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By Dakota.Me.UK, Sep 18 2016 09:00AM

The Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood, Bloomsbury 2015.


Stan and Charmaine are a married couple struggling to survive in the modern world. Charmaine works in a bar and they are living in their car. Just when they think there is no way out, they hear about the Positron Project, in the town of Consilience. A stable job and home of their own beckons. But there’s a catch – every other month they have to spend in prison, living in cells and doing prison jobs. It seems a small price to pay, they sign up, and at first life seems perfect.


But as we all know, human nature doesn’t allow us to keep life perfect for long, and soon the sinister side of Positron becomes apparent. Charmaine begins to act self-destructively and Stan wants to get out, but it turns out getting out of Positron is far harder than getting in. Their every move is monitored and they realise just how wide the social experiment goes.


As exhibited in The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood’s writing is gripping and as always her vision of a dystopian future is absolutely spot on. The scary part is with constant CCTV and people more and more able to control elements of their lives, there is a part of me which can see this actually happening one day. Disturbing, thought provoking, and utterly captivating, this is a must-read for fans of Margaret Atwood and those new to her writing too.


Purple Poetess

By Dakota.Me.UK, Aug 21 2016 10:22AM

The Boy who Fell To Earth, Kathy Lette, Black Swan 2013.


Lucy has a very important man in her life, her autistic son, Merlin. Merlin’s Father Jeremy abandoned them when Merlin was very young, claiming he couldn’t handle Merlin’s condition. After years on her own, and a series of dates which don’t go according to plan, the perfect man, Archie, lands on her doorstep. Okay he swears, he makes constant innuendoes, but he has a huge heart. And most importantly, he gets Merlin. Just when life seems as though it couldn’t get any better, Jeremy makes an unexpected return, pleading forgiveness.


Kathy Lette has explained she didn’t have to look far for her inspiration for The Boy Who Fell To Earth as her son has Asperger’s. This is apparent in Merlin’s character and some of his utterings make for a hilarious yet touching read. Jeremy claims to have had a change of heart, wanting to do everything he can to make hers and Merlin’s lives easier. Following Jeremy’s father’s death, his Mother who has previously treated Lucy and Merlin terribly, seems much more open to them.


It is disheartening to see how Jeremy gradually wears Lucy down; I felt a sinking feeling of how matters would eventually pan out. Merlin is the shining star of this novel, which gives a real insight into life with an autistic child, something I had very little knowledge of previously. A fantastic book with laugh out loud moments and crashing lows, The Boy Who Fell To Earth taught me if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Read it now!


Review by Purple Poetess

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