Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: A Review

I first heard about Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale in my high school English class during a lesson on banned books.  My teacher had lined up books that had been banned at one point in time or another and allowed us to choose from them.  I didn't get to the book that day and ended up choosing another book, The Cider House Rules by John Irving, but I wanted to read The Handmaid's Tale since that day and ended up reading it a few years later.  Since then, it has become one of my favorite books and I am a fan of Atwood's work.  It is easily one of the best examples of dystopian fiction, of all time. 

The United States is now the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic police state.  The Bible has now replaced the Constitution.  Due to a pandemic of infertility, the wives of the leaders are unable to get pregnant and populate the new country.  For this reason, the fertile women of the community are sought out and are used as surrogate mothers for the wives of the leaders.  Women of all ranks are oppressed in this society and we soon learn that "better never means better for everyone... It always means worse, for some."

Atwood's account should be seen as a warning to us all about the consequences of political and religious extremism.  While this book was written awhile back, it still feels very current and relevant today.  I have loved everything about this book.  I loved all of the characters but especially Offred.  She is faced with such horrific circumstances but she is so strong and resilient, no matter what happens to her.  Serena Joy, wife of the Commander of Offred, seems cruel and cold but we soon find out that there is much more to her than is at first glance.  She has had her fair share of pain and anguish, just like the rest of the women in Gilead.  The story is so interesting that it is easy to move through the book quickly and with ease.  This book should be on everyone's to be read list.  This is, by far, one of the most important books of all time.

The Handmaid's Tale is also a new series on Hulu.  I have seen all of the episodes that have been released thus far and I have felt that they have lived up to the original.  Watch a trailer of the show here:

The Handmaid's Tale is currently available on Amazon Prime and Amazon Unlimited to read for free.   Follow this link for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime and this link for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Unlimited.

Reviews of books like this one:
Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
The Accusation: Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea by Bandi and Deborah Smith

This book is currently available and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind. 

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