This week, I’m reviewing The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is 311 pages and it’s fantastic! I’ll admit that it sometimes made me angry but I’ll go into that later.
“I avoid looking down at my body, not so much because it’s shameful or immodest but because I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to look at something that determines me so completely.”
It is the early 2000’s and the United States is in a state of upheaval. The President has been killed and Congress has been massacred. The Constitution has been suspended. Everything as we know it is changing, and quickly. Offred, the narrator whose true name is unknown, is now a Handmaid. Once a month she must partake in the Ceremony, a fertilization ritual between her, her Commander, and his Wife. She is used only as a womb because of the declining number of births. Her world wasn’t always like this and the reader gets to find out more about her past through her thoughts at night.
What I liked about it:
I loved this book although it was disturbing. I loved the details in the descriptions of places and feelings, the characters are really dynamic, the story felt too real. I loved how Offred’s backstory is revealed in small bits of information as she remembers things. She also informs the reader of what happened that made the US become this totalitarian government and how it transitioned. A lot of how it became like this really interested me but it’s also scary how quickly your rights can be taken away.
What I didn’t like about it:
This book hits really close to home. With everything that’s happening currently, I wouldn’t be too surprised if something like this happens to us in the next few years. There is some gore throughout the novel especially towards the end. There is talk of suicide and one or more of the characters does commit suicide (I won’t say who). There’s not much at all that I didn’t like about it except for maybe all of the cheating that happens prior to the novel and SPOILERS during the novel END SPOILERS.
My overall impression:
This is a wonderful book that I think everyone should read. You may not like it as much as I do, but it definitely brings to light some of the political climate of today. This is both surprising and disturbing because the book was written in 1985. I am worried about this becoming reality, but I believe that we can stop it if we are informed. On a happier note, I’m really excited for the TV show based on The Handmaid’s Tale!