Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

28588073“How he has fallen. How deflated. How reduced. Cobbling together this bare existence, living in a hovel, ignored …”

In the latest release of Hogarth’s Shakespeare series, Margaret Atwood completely delivers with her take on The Tempest.

Felix has been fired from his job as artistic director at the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by a man he once considered an ally. With his career over and beloved production of The Tempest cancelled, he finds himself completely alone and becomes a recluse, intent on disappearing from everyone’s radar. He makes a home for himself in an abandoned and isolated house, with the ghost of his deceased daughter, Miranda as his sole companion. As the years pass, Felix slowly forms a plan of vengeance. He takes a teaching job with Literacy Through Theatre program at a local penitentiary and aims to bring his long ago cancelled Tempest to life and use it to exact revenge on those who orchestrated his downfall.

Hag-Seed is a delightful and page-turning read. There are a few different aspects to this book as a whole and all work together beautifully; the use of a prison as a setting, the study and production of The Tempest by Felix and his cast, and Felix’s own inner turmoil and plot. The Literacy Through Theatre program, which sets the play within a prison environment is very interesting and compelling. Most fascinating is how the author captures and portrays Felix’s state of mind as we are completely absorbed into his world. You do not have to read The Tempest prior to reading Hag-Seed in order to fully enjoy it as it does stand quite nicely on its own. I have not read the Shakespearean play, however this book does inspire me to pick it up and experience all the themes that were discussed throughout Felix’s class and production.

*ARC provided by NetGalley. Publication date October 11, 2016.

Books in the series:img_3121

1. The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

2. Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson

3. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

4. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Most Anticipated Fall Book Releases

fall“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

There are a lot of great books to look forward to in the next few months, and while it was not a simple task I did narrow it down to the top six I am most excited to get my hands on. In no particular order, here are the top six books on my fall reading list: 🙂

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (October 11th)
This is the next release in the Shakespeare Hogarth series, with Margaret Atwood taking on a modern retelling of The Tempest.

“When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.”

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (October 25th)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of one of my absolute favourite books of 2015, Signal to Noise so anything she releases is a must-read for me. Her new book is described as a YA paranormal thriller where “vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City.”

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (November 1st)
“The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”

This is the new release from the author of Everything, Everything. It is a novel about fate, which tells the story of Natasha and Daniel who meet under unusual circumstances. I very much enjoyed Nicola Yoon’s debut novel and look forward to reading more of her work. Continue reading “Most Anticipated Fall Book Releases”