Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Seasonal Reading Challenge:Task 15.3, Option #2 – Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy in January 1792.
Option 1, Read TWO books, one book 1 and one book 2.
Book 1: Read a book from this list of Popular Feminism Books
Required: State the page of the list where your book is found.
Book 2: Read a book by a female author whose initials are found in MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT. Letters may only be used as often as they appear. All name part initials must be considered. One qualifying author in a book by multiple contributors fulfills this task.
Option 2, Read ONE book that fulfills both option 1 Book A and Book B.
Blurb: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…
Review: Oh. My. GAWD! How have I never read this book before??
I devoured this book in one day. Almost in one sitting. It was that compelling.
It’s really hard to explain what I liked about the book, because there are very few things I didn’t like. The setting took some time to figure out where exactly this was taking place – it was a reveal in and of itself. The characters were wonderfully rich and complex. Offred is a very compelling protagonist, but it was also interesting to see that the people who were in power, who should have been “the bad guys” were also very complicated. The Commander and his wife were part of the system, but neither one seemed very happy about it. I really liked the under culture too, and would LOVE to hear more about Moira’s story.
The pacing in this was great as well. We get constant hints throughout of Offred’s life before, but it’s not until towards the end that we really see the full picture, and see how we got to this point in the first place. And it’s fascinating. The only thing I could even criticize about it is that the final chapter feels really out of place. It takes place long after the events of the book and, well, I don’t know. It felt wrong. I wanted to have more of a definitive conclusion of Offred’s story, and we don’t really get that.
But that was me just being nitpicky. The rest of the book is great. Thought provoking, shocking, but in all the right ways. GoodReads rating: 5 stars.