There is no doubt that Margaret Atwood is a master storyteller, from a literary perspective. She weaves quite a tale.
But...I'm finding I either truly love her stories, or hate them. This one I started out loving. And ended up with a bad taste in my mouth. Yet at the same time, I have to agree that she is quite an author.....very well done with plot, character development, twisted psychology, emotional upheaval, weirdness, and futuristic scariness. Yet...she also has too much use of profanity (not the Lord's name but vulgar language) and some of her depictions were ......let's say....not for under the age of 21.
I would have rated this a 10....in fact, I was telling my oldest daughter, who enjoys her writing, that this would probably be better than A Handmaid's Tale. NOT! It is downright icky in some places. But it didn't begin that way! By the middle of the book, I was starting to feel uncomfortable and almost put it down. By about 3 chapters from the end, I decided to just skim through. My rating of a 10 slipped lower before I was done.
Charmaine and Stan are married and homeless. They are homeless because they both lost their jobs. There has been a major social and economic collapse in the northeast. Living out of their car is risky...there are violent gangs. They really need to turn their lives around...yet how??
They learn of "the Positron Project" in the town of Consilience. The town is run by a man named Ed. Everyone living in that town is employed and everyone has a house! But.....only for 6 months of the year.
On alternating months, the Consilience residents must leave their homes and go live in the Positron Prison where they perform different jobs than when they live in their houses. They become inmates! Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they go back to their house and the people living in the house, enter the prison.
When they first arrive in Consilience, this seems like an ok thing to do. After all, they are employed, they have a comfortable and clean home, and they have nice clothes and good food. But...then Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house while she and Stan are in prison. And soon, a strange series of events begin to happen. These events put Stan's life in danger!
With every day that passes, the Positron Project looks less like a prayer that has been answered, and more like a horrible prophecy being fulfilled.
I really liked this story until I realized just how many sexual scenarios were taking place, along with the profanity and vulgar talk. I just don't understand why this is necessary to write a good story! I don't want to spoil it for you if you decide to read it, but I do realize the author had to write those scenes as it is the main basis for her plot. But..again...WHY? the plot was interesting but as a Christ follower I just didn't care for how vulgar she was describing things.
Maybe I'm old fashioned!
It is just too weird for me....disturbing really in many ways.
Like I said before, I understand that she is a brilliant author who has won so many prestigious awards...from a purely literary perspective, it is amazing. But as a Christian, I just can't rate this a 10.
In my opinion, this book is only appropriate for ages 21 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 7