Bibliophile Babes Book Club discussion

The Heart Goes Last
This topic is about The Heart Goes Last
36 views
Past Discussions > Discussion Forum

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
Hey guys! I hope you've all had a great reading month. How did you find Margaret Atwood's, The Heart Goes Last? I've posted a few discussion points in this forum page for you to respond to. I'm really looking forward to hearing what you all think of this one. See you in the discussion forum over the next few days. x


Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
DISCUSSION #1 Overall, what would you rate your reading experience of this book out of 5?


Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
DISCUSSION #2 How did your attitude towards the two main characters (Stan and Charmaine) change over the course of the novel?


Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
DISCUSSION #3 If you were in Stan and Charmaine's situation in the beginning of the novel, would you sign up to enter into Consilience?


Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
DISCUSSION #4 As the chapters alternated between the authorial voice of Stan and Charmaine, did you feel as though you preferred either character more than the other?


Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
DISCUSSION #5 Charmaine is placed in a horrible situation when she discovers Stan on the gurney. Did she make the right choice? What would you have done?


Claire (cmoo053) Kate wrote: "Hey guys! I hope you've all had a great reading month. How did you find Margaret Atwood's, The Heart Goes Last? I've posted a few discussion points in this forum page for you to respond to. I'm rea..."

Desperately finishing it off tonight! Excited to discuss :)


Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
Claire wrote: "Kate wrote: "Hey guys! I hope you've all had a great reading month. How did you find Margaret Atwood's, The Heart Goes Last? I've posted a few discussion points in this forum page for you to respon..."

Looking forward to hearing what you think! :)


Sara Penny | 86 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #1 Overall, what would you rate your reading experience of this book out of 5?"

3/5 for me. I was loving the story at the beginning, I raced through it wanting to know what happened next. The end of the book, I think starting with Stan's 'death', was a bit of a let down.


message 10: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara Penny | 86 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #3 If you were in Stan and Charmaine's situation in the beginning of the novel, would you sign up to enter into Consilience?"

I think I would. Their situation was pretty dire and I'd be looking for any offer of security. Most of the population seemed to avoid the sinister dealings of the town, so maybe I'd be one of the ones under the radar :P


message 11: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara Penny | 86 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #5 Charmaine is placed in a horrible situation when she discovers Stan on the gurney. Did she make the right choice? What would you have done?"

Her reasoning of 'if I don't do it, someone else will, and then they'll kill me too' is probably similar to the way I'd think, but I wouldn't be able to do it. Charmaine's thoughts often hinted at a tortured past, and I think the coping mechanisms she developed as a child very much influenced her decision.


Nivedita (nivvi) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #1 Overall, what would you rate your reading experience of this book out of 5?"

I would give it 3/5. It was really good at the beginning.But I soon found myself having to struggle to finish the book at the end.


Nivedita (nivvi) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #3 If you were in Stan and Charmaine's situation in the beginning of the novel, would you sign up to enter into Consilience?"

oh yes! I would have certainly picked a comfy bed over sleeping in a car. But, I am sure I would regret it the second I sign in.


message 14: by Nivedita (last edited Mar 02, 2016 11:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nivedita (nivvi) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #5 Charmaine is placed in a horrible situation when she discovers Stan on the gurney. Did she make the right choice? What would you have done?"

The book started getting quiet predictable at this point. I guess the characters started taking on convenient roles, to make up this fantastical story. I would have been pleasantly surprised if she did not follow her command from the authorities. If I were in her situation... I would have done the fainting first :)


Claire (cmoo053) Nivedita wrote: "Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #5 Charmaine is placed in a horrible situation when she discovers Stan on the gurney. Did she make the right choice? What would you have done?"

The book started getting qui..."


I wasn't overly convinced by this bit either. I guess, I thought that Charmaine might have challenged the situation a bit more. But I did think, in the end, that her response to this fitted with how her character had been portrayed and developed from the outset. I think Charmaine was very survival and comfort focused. In this scenario, she was really faced with the dilemma (as she perceived it) to save herself by performing the procedure on Stan, or to sacrifice them both if she didn't. The faint felt a little convenient though.


Claire (cmoo053) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #1 Overall, what would you rate your reading experience of this book out of 5?"

4/5 for me. A classic Atwood dystopia- all the good elements. Just a few moments where I was slightly unconvinced and a few bits that I felt could have been explained/developed better.


Claire (cmoo053) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #4 As the chapters alternated between the authorial voice of Stan and Charmaine, did you feel as though you preferred either character more than the other?"

I personally found Charmaine a bit weak, and struggled to connect to her as much as Stan, but I guess that was kind of the point. Charmaine was the one who pushed them into Consilience, then the one that became involved with Max/Phil. I felt a little like a lot of the struggles were caused by her, and she failed to see this at most points of the novel. There were times when I found Stan equally frustrating though. Overall, it was a useful narrative structure which helped Atwood to illustrate the challenges and conflicts of the world she has created.


Claire (cmoo053) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #2 How did your attitude towards the two main characters (Stan and Charmaine) change over the course of the novel?"

I mostly found Charmaine irritating throughout. I felt like she didn't approach situations logically or carefully. She is very emotionally motivated in her actions. She valued comfort and happiness over morals and safety at times. However, I think this is what Atwood was trying to get at with her character.

Stan I fluctuated with- at times I felt quite sympathetic towards him and his situation, and at other times I wished he'd stand up to Charmaine, and challenge his situations and try to change them. Ultimately, Stan was the character who I felt best reveals the contradictions of life in Consilience.


Claire (cmoo053) Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #3 If you were in Stan and Charmaine's situation in the beginning of the novel, would you sign up to enter into Consilience?"

That's a tricky question. I'd like to think I'd see through the advertising, and especially through the entry process. But in a world like that I think we'd all be susceptible to the invitation of comfort and safety.


message 20: by Nivedita (last edited Mar 15, 2016 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nivedita (nivvi) Claire wrote: "Nivedita wrote: "Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #5 Charmaine is placed in a horrible situation when she discovers Stan on the gurney. Did she make the right choice? What would you have done?"

The book st..."


I agree Claire. But I guess I was waiting for the book to stun me or was waiting for an unexpected twist which never happened:)
I am reading Margaret Atwood's Maddam and I am enjoying it more then I did this one so far.


message 21: by Kate (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
Nivedita wrote: "Claire wrote: "Nivedita wrote: "Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #5 Charmaine is placed in a horrible situation when she discovers Stan on the gurney. Did she make the right choice? What would you have done..."

That's really interesting, I feel the same way. This book kind of 'plodded along' for me. Perhaps I should try a different Atwood too. Is 'Maddam' the only other Atwood you've read? Is there one you'd recommend?


Claire (cmoo053) I loved Oryx and Crake, The Handmaids Tale for dystopian Atwood, but my fave is Cat's Eye


Claire (cmoo053) I loved Oryx and Crake, The Handmaids Tale for dystopian Atwood, but my fave is Cat's Eye


Sylvia (sylvitus) | 1 comments Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #1 Overall, what would you rate your reading experience of this book out of 5?"
Hi Kate! I know I am super late to this but I just finish reading the book and overall I didn't like it :(
I just did not connect to the characters, the story, nothing. I thought maybe something exciting was going to happen when Stan and Charmain where both in Vegas, but everything was resolved so easily that I lost interest in the rest of the story. I forced myself to finish the book, longest 50 pages (more or less) of my life :-/.


message 25: by Kate (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kate (Lillytales) (lillytales) | 122 comments Mod
Sylvia wrote: "Kate wrote: "DISCUSSION #1 Overall, what would you rate your reading experience of this book out of 5?"
Hi Kate! I know I am super late to this but I just finish reading the book and overall I didn..."


I actually kind of agree! I was quite engaged with the book up until about the last third of the book and my interest just slipped away. I've heard lots of wonderful things about Margaret Atwood's other work so perhaps this wasn't the book to start with. Do you think you'll pick up another Margaret Atwood in the future?


back to top