1986, 311 pages
What a thought-provoking book!
Offred (Of Fred) is a woman who had her child and all her money taken away from her by the government. Her money was taken away just because she was female. Her daughter was taken away because her marriage was declared invalid. Why? Because it was the second marriage for her husband. The government has “religious” motivations for these acts. (Something I was a little uncomfortable with because I am a Christian, yet I realize there are always extremists. I took this as a cautionary tale.)
Spoiler alert! (Don’t read if you like to be in suspense during a book.)
Things only get worse from there. She is forced to become a handmaid, or surrogate mother, for a man of high position in the government. However, the conception is to occur in the normal way–with the wife present! This was a little shocking to me! Somehow Atwood pulls this off without offending my prudish sensibilities. The life of Offred is certainly not enviable.
I found this book to be a jolt to my system. Atwood is a gifted writer, and I definitely plan on reading more of her works.
- Nymeth – May 12, 2007
- She really is a gifted writer. I recently finished “The Penelopiad”, which I recommend. I think I will be picking this one up next.
- Lynne – May 13, 2007
- I tried one of her books before and couldn’t finish it. But this one sounds interesting – might have to give her a second chance.
- Quixotic – May 13, 2007
- I really need to read something by Atwood, and soon!
- Stephanie – May 14, 2007
- I really loved this book. I don’t scare easily. I mean, I’ve read Stephen King and Dean Koontz all the time. But this book SCARED me!! I’m really glad you liked it!
- Suey – May 14, 2007
- It’s fun to read your thoughts on this book having just read it myself. I’ve been nervous to read it for years, but was glad I finally did. Thought provoking for sure. I have a couple of other Atwood books on my shelf that I hope to get to one of these days/years!
- Nyssaneala – May 20, 2007
- The Handmaid’s Tale is the book that founded by love for Atwood…and it’s still one of my all-time fave’s! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
She actually incorporated a lot of worldwide current events from the 1980’s such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Cold War and nuclear protection.
However, the movie is terrible.