Overview (No Spoilers):
Upon the recommendation of my friend Kari and seeing the many positive reviews of my fellow bloggers, I added The Handmaid’s Tale to my reading list. This is my fourth book by Atwood after thoroughly enjoying her MaddAddam Trilogy last summer, i.e., Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, MaddAddam. I was quickly hooked in this dystopian novel as we follow the narrative of Offred, as she seamlessly bounces back and forth between recounting the events leading to, during, and after the overthrow of the US government. Hauntingly, Offred tells in hindsight, how women’s rights were taken away seemingly one small act at a time by the stand-in government with the false promise that the measures were all temporary, until events had progressed to a point of no return. It is hard to imagine women in this day and age regressing to the horrors witness and submitted to by Offred, although there was an undercurrent of, in not believability, plausibility registering in my unconscious while reading. Regardless, this thought provoking tale created by Atwood seems eerily beyond its time, as I was shocked to learn that the novel was originally published in 1985. Overall, I would highly recommend reading The Handmaid’s Tale, however be forewarned that this story by no means can be classified as a ‘feel good’ read.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What happened to our main character? Did Offred make it out of Maine?
- What happened to Nick? Did he save her? Was Offred pregnant?
- What would have happened if Offred had not been saved by Nick? What would have Serena Joy’s punishment been?
- What happened to her child? Luke? Moria? So many unknowns!
- Would Luke and Offred been part of the middle class had they not ran? I’m guessing not due to this being their second marriage.
- Were people really shipped to the Colonies? What happened to her mother?
- I really enjoyed the last chapter that takes place in the future, where they are reviewing ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ at an academic conference and how hard it is to verify the credibility of the story or even track down the identities of the individuals. It was relieving to find out that terrible male dominated regime did not last. How did our protagonist record/hide the tapes.
- Was I the only one that was oblivious to the names they were assigned denoting the name of their Commander? Offred = Fred and Ofglen = Glen
- I’m intrigued by the ‘middle class’ that was barely discussed, with only their dress highlighted. How did they survive?