Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Another great add to the list of classic books I’ve read! I’ve been wanting to read The Handmaid’s Tale for some time now and I finally got the push I needed to get the book when I heard the mini-series was coming out.

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I also think that this book was one a good choice to read right now during such a confusing and constantly changing political climate in the US. By reading this, I’m reminded by how important women’s rights are and that they have to be protected. I know that this future Atwood wrote about in this novel is exaggerated (at least to me) about the possibilities of what could happen, but similar events, even on a smaller scale, could still occur. Though I doubt Congress could be so easily to get rid of at one time.

What’s weird is that for some reason I envisioned this world of Atwood’s to be violent and scary for all the women. To me, I didn’t really see violence anywhere, at least not through Offred’s eyes. But I would say being scared at times was definitely present at least through the eyes of Offred from time to time. While the Republic of Gilead wanted to create a new society where women and children are protected inspired by The Bible (though it was never clear to me if inspired by the whole bible or just parts of it), that protection comes with rules and sometimes uncertainty when it comes to where you stand with the ‘higher ups’. The biggest concern is of course the lack of a substantial birth rate and any babies born being non-Shredders.

Because this was written in the 1980’s, toxic and chemical impacts on humans is a huge part of the story. My understanding is that babies born as Shredders have some kind of disease or syndrome that makes them unsuitable in some way for Gilead society. That’s the one of the things that frustrated me from time to time is the lack of clear definitions for some of the terms that Atwood uses throughout the novel.

This is my first Atwood novel so I don’t know how she wrote her other novels, but I wish part of the Historical Notes section was available at the beginning so that I could better understand Offred’s narrative and why it seems slightly choppy because of small tangents from time to time. If I ever find the time to reread it, I’ll have a much easier time focusing on just the content.

I found this book to be a great view into human behavior and seeing the strength women bring to the world. Overall, I think this is a great read for anyone and I’m really glad that I finally got to read it.

Have you read The Handmaid’s Tale? What were your thoughts? Any other Margaret Atwood novels you would recommend?

Reading Challenge Prompts Satisfied:

Sorry, I’m Booked 2017 Reading Challenge: Book that celebrates women

PopSugar 2017 Reading Challenge: Book with an unreliable narrator


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