The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: A Review

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I kept seeing this book as a suggestion for books to read in the Fall, or scary books to read.
It’s a dystopian future kind of scary. There was profanity throughout the book, but very little graphic violence or sexuality. It was more of a scary notion of what could become of women’s role in society.
It is told from the perspective of a handmaid named Offred. Her job in society was to have babies. In particular, to have a baby for the Commander and his wife. The procreation “ceremony” was devoid of any sensuality, as was the rest of the society, really. This wasn’t how life always was for Offred. She used to have her own name, a husband, a little girl. And there are flashbacks throughout the book as to how she lost all of those things. And because her perspective is limited, she isn’t allowed to read or write and is kept from knowing anything, we don’t get a complete story of how this society came to be. Which again, could be very scary. I did like the way the story was revealed, but sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was in a flashback or not. I think this was on purpose since the character seemed discombobulated as well.
The descriptions of her life, of the things around her, were a reflection of her mood and her resignation. But sometimes the descriptions seemed to drone on. And the end of the book doesn’t necessarily make it clear what happens in the end. Just like her own life, always uncertain of things she had always been certain about before. Not scary, but a good book, nonetheless.

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