Genre: Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Published: March 16, 1998 by: Anchor Books
Rating: 5/5 stars
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Her sole duty is to bear children for her Commander and his infertile wife. She is not allowed to leave the house unless instructed, she is not allowed to read, and most importantly, she is not allowed to to poison herself with birth control and abortion, methods that are what led the world to have to be cleansed by the Gilead in the first place. Offred had a life beforehand, but that doesn't matter now. She is sworn to serve her Commander for the rest of her fertile life, or she might risk being sent to The Colonies.
I knew I had to pick up this book after being completely engrossed in the tv show. I don't know what possessed me to start watching, but I was so into it that reading the book after the season ended seemed inevitable, Now I have had problems with Atwood in the past, but this book surely redeemed herself for me and gave me a message so powerful and so scarily relevant to today.
Offred's life sucks. Her and all the other Handmaids are bound by the radical Christian group, the Gilead, who took over the formerly known United States and made it impossible for women to have any rights. Seem familiar? It's really telling that this book was sort of resurrected during this day and age, because women are going through such similar issues in the US right now when it comes to rights for birth control and reproductive health. Now obviously the US is not nearly as harsh as the Gilead, but what I find amazing is that the handmaid has become sort of a symbol now to women of feminism.
I loved this story. I thought it was shocking, twisted, and disturbing, but I could not put it down as I just needed to know what happened next. I do think Atwood wrote this as a cautionary tale, and rightfully so. I think this is a book that every woman should read if they need some inspiration to go out there and stand up to the patriarchy.
Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess