Sunday, December 22, 2019

Review: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Year Published: 1986


Genre: Adult fiction (dystopian)
Pages: 311
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my dad

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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. De[rived 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.

Review: I rarely re-read books. But, I had to re-read The Handmaid's Tale since I want to read The Testaments and couldn't remember the details. I'm glad I did.

There are so many elements that are similar to other dystopian novels: society has gone haywire, totalitarianism rules, there are strict social roles and rules, a strong female lead, clandestine relationships, and more. But, this feels like OG dystopian. It feels calmer and somehow creepier because it is possible to see parts of it happening.

I like that the women have a network of help (the underground femaleroad), that they find ways of talking to one another when they aren't allowed to, and use their sexuality to have some power. But, no surprise that women's lives and women's bodies are the ones that are compromised and controlled in the society.

I enjoyed this second read through of the book and look forward to reading the Testaments though I will read it after a little break from the characters and the story.


Challenges for which this counts: 

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