What I loved:
The world the author created. Each new event had my jaw dropping at how much the world changed during Offred’s lifetime.
How I felt:
Years ago I stumbled across this book at Goodwill and thought the cover looked interesting, and like I always do, I bought the book without knowing anything about it. It turned out to be right up my alley. I’m always a sucker for a dystopian / speculative fiction story and The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely that!
At the beginning of the book, I was so confused. The flashbacks were not from that long ago, and I couldn’t quite grasp how things had gone so terribly wrong so quickly for society. As the book progressed, I began to understand some of the events and changes that were put in place to cripple people from being able to get away from this regime.
I really enjoyed the world that Atwood built for this story. The “past” in the book is our world today, and while it seems crazy that anything like this could ever happen, at the same time, I was able to see how in Atwood’s created world, it happened. I liked all the details she added to help me visualize the scenes. The wall, the clothing, the shopping areas, everything was described in a way that made it easy to “see”.
The story is about Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a post-modern day society. She lives with the Commander and his wife and is ruled by their wishes. This new world requires handmaids to sleep with the husband of the home to try and get pregnant. The resulting baby belongs to the husband and his wife, not the Handmaid. The idea of this whole situation was heartbreaking for me. I couldn’t imagine this type of situation! The story is written in the present but flashes back to the before years that Offred remembers.
Overall, The Handmaid’s Tale unfolds into a well-written story that had me constantly wondering what would happen next. It is a must-read!
To Read or Not To Read:
This is a book I just ABSOLUTELY recommend to anyone that enjoys dystopian worlds or speculative fiction.
If you have already read this book, check out The Testaments by Margaret Atwood!
Where To Find This Book:
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood can be found at these sites.
In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women.
Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive.
At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic.