Reviewed by: Bethany
Page count: 368 Pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
In stock: Yes, and it’s 25% off. 😉
You know when you sit down to write a book and then end up accidentally predicting the future? Well, Margaret Atwood does. Read this cool article written by Atwood on the relevance of The Handmaid’s Tale in present day.
Gilead is a cool place where you can wear a weird cone and lots of layers for the low, low price of your freedom. It’s also a place where religion and government have melded into one neat totalitarian blob of sexism. The story’s protagonist, who I guess we have to call Offred even though it bums me out, is living in The Republic of Gilead as a handmaid to an unnamed Commander. She’s pretty much just there to reproduce because she’s one of the privileged few whose ovaries are in business. Yay! If you don’t want to be a handmaid, you can always head to The Colonies and clean up nuclear waste until the radiation gets you. A real Sophie’s choice.
There are a lot of flashbacks to the old days – Offred’s life before she became a handmaid and could still walk to the store without supervision. She seems torn between her old life and her life in Gilead. I kept wondering if her memories were enough to inspire her to resist or if the inevitability of this new world would dampen her spirits.
I think one of the scariest things about this book is how complacent a lot of these characters become. From an outside perspective, it’s so strange to watch Offred get used to and eventually find a sense of contentment in this new world. There are a lot of parallels between the story and what’s happening in the news and it’s a great reminder never to acclimate to sinister circumstances.
I’ve also started watching the show and it’s looking like the TV handmaids are going to be a lot more proactive about their futures and I am 100% here for it. I’m also here for the show’s soundtrack, but that’s another matter entirely.
Blessed be the fruit and whatnot. Read this book if you feel like being angry!