The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Summary: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. In the age of declining births, Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable, and if they are able to produce a baby for the Commander and his wife. Offred remembers the time before when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge, but that time is now gone.
A Scary, but Interesting Read
There has been so much buzz about The Handmaid’s Tale since the election of 45 and the recent Hulu adaptation. Although I bought The Handmaid’s Tale a few years ago, now seems like the perfect time to finally read it. Each day feels more like life imitating art, and I’d like to be prepared for the impending dystopian doom. Although The Handmaid’s Tale kept my attention from start to finish, I was slightly underwhelmed by it as a whole. Maybe my expectations were way too high. I was expecting a meatier story from The Handmaid’s Tale based on all the praise and hype surrounding it. My biggest takeaway from the story is wondering which woman of Gilead I would be?
On a more positive note, I enjoyed the disjointed narration. Offred intertwining her current life as a Handmaid with her pre-Gilead life was a great method of storytelling. I was also glad the book did not tie up loose ends or easily wrap up the end of the story. A story this dark has no credible happy ending.
I enjoyed the story, even though it was preaching to the choir. I know how awful a society based on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Old Testament would be because I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. The Handmaid’s Tale is a cautionary tale for women who promote and believe in the patriarchy to be careful what you wish for. This is the great book club read, especially for a co-ed group. The Handmaid’s Tale could be the perfect catalyst for discussions on class, gender, sexuality, and even race. Rating: Page Turner