Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publication: 18th April 2017 (First published 1985)
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian
Around the World in 52 books – A book with a chilling atmosphere.
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
This book first came to my attention due to the TV series, which I heard was amazing. I caught one episode and really enjoyed it but missed the rest, so I thought I would read the book first then watch the show.
I thought the story was a really interesting concept and was really well done. It is written from Offred’s point of view, almsot like a verbal diary of Offred’s thoughts and ideas. This means the story can be somewhat disjointed and sometimes she say it’s not right and retells it differently. It jumps between the present, as a handmaid, and the past before the change of government, with her husband and daughter. I found there was a little bit too much of the past for my liking and they dragged on occasionally.
It was a very interesting and thought provoking read, although not always enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it.