The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is not a tale for the faint of heart. It’s a dystopian novel set in a futuristic United States which has been overthrown by a totalitarian Christian society. The handmaids are women who are basically used as fertility machines to furnish rich officers and their wives with children.
I decided to read this novel because of the reviews I had seen online naming it one of the best novels of our generation. My interest was piqued and without having heard anything else about the novel, I decided to borrow it from the library.
WOW. It was not what I was expecting at all. The story follows Offred [Of-Fred], a handmaid who is staying with Commander Fred and must produce an heir for the high ranking official and his wife. No romance, no speaking, her only allowed contact with Fred is a ceremony in which his wife holds her hands while Fred takes advantage of Offred’s body. It’s disturbing and frustrating and scary.
That being said, I could NOT STOP READING THIS BOOK. I was entrapped and trying to understand this new world with it’s strange rituals and attempts to reverse the population decrease. It’s scary to ponder what could cause such a cold and unfeeling world to be created. I enjoyed the novel, if only for it’s shocking quality. 3.5 stars!