Review of Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Felix Phillips is still mourning the death of his wife and three-year-old daughter. At least he still has his job as the Artistic Director at the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. That is untileBook Review Gal Book Review of Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood he’s undermined and given the boot by a cutthroat politically minded coworker named Tony. Felix knows that revenge is a dish best served cold, so he waits a full dozen years before putting his plan into action. Working incognito, Felix secures a job teaching acting to a group of minimum-security inmates at the Fletcher County Correctional Institute. What deliciously devious comeuppance will Felix exact upon Tony and his cronies?

I’m painfully embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read one of Margaret Atwood’s books. Shame on me. I love her writing style. It’s intelligent and wonderfully engaging. I’ve read the reviews for Hag-Seed and several reviewers have said that this isn’t one of Ms. Atwood’s best works. I’ll definitely be reading more, since I really did enjoy this one.

Felix’s character is well developed and likable. I could feel his pain and loss. It was easy for me to connect with him. And, the plot of treachery and deceit is one that many of us can relate to. I wanted Tony and his political buddies to be punished for what they’d done to Felix.

As for the inmates themselves, I had a bit of trouble envisioning inmates behaving the way some of the characters in this book behaved. Yet, my experience with the prison system is non-existent so I can’t say for sure how credible it is. I did like the way Ms. Atwood portrayed them, however. She made them human and even likable to an extent.

The ending was wonderfully satisfying – although it was a little difficult to imagine Felix pulling off what he actually did. However, this is fiction and it makes for captivating reading. There were several touching parts, particularly at the end, which I enjoyed immensely. I highly recommend reading Hag-Seed! Thanks to NetGalley and Blogging for Books for providing me with complimentary electronic and print copies of this book!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton