Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Handmaid's Tale - by Margaret Atwood

This book was Cafe alibri's October read (yes, I am reading it a little late!) I wish that I could have read it when they did, because I think the discussion for this book would have been tremendous. It also fits in with the following reading challenges: Book to Movie Challenge, Lit Flicks Challenge, Unread Author's Challenge, and New Classics Challenge.

The book is set in the near future somewhere in the U.S., probably on the East Coast - it is now called the Republic of Gilead. It is the story of Offred (Of-fred), a woman whose sole purpose is to provide a baby for a Commander(Fred) and his wife(Serena Joy). She is only valuable as long as her eggs are still viable. Once a month she is required to have sex, under the watchful eye of Serena Joy, in the hopes of becoming pregnant. In this futuristic society, population is declining, and healthy babies are few and far between. The cruelty is that Offred (we never learn her real name) once had a husband, a child, a job - what we would consider a normal middle class life. Then seemingly over night, the government was wiped out and a new regime was begun.

My first thoughts when I began reading this book were "yeah, right" - but it made me start to think- slavery, Jews, Darfur, Afghanistan - how easily could this happen right here in the United States today?

This was a very disturbing, yet fascinating book. It jumped back and forth from what you would consider the narrator's present to her past as the story unfolded. This made me want to keep reading so I could learn how she had arrived at her present place. Warning though - if you like books that tie up all the loose ends and everyone lives happily ever after, this is not for you. I give this book 4 1/2 of 5 stars - only because I do like those happily ever afters!

I was not aware that this had been made into a movie until after I had begun the book. Now my quest is to get a hold of a copy of the movie!

Other reviews:
Things Mean a Lot

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this book too. It felt to me as if it could have been written this year. I haven't seen the movie version. I'll check back to see if you liked it. Congrats on finishing a Lit Flicks Challenge selection.


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