Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now... (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This was a book that creeped me out just enough I had to put it down and pick it up again later. I found the book interesting, but not compelling. There are a lot of very good topics addressed such as feminism, ownership, and the risk of over-reactions to social topics. Yet despite it being intriguing from those perspectives, if I had thought not been reading the book as part of the challenge I might not have finished it.
I think what makes this book better than some other dystopian with similar themes is the psychological insight. The internal commentary from Offred is what gets the book under your skin because we get the understanding of just how far she’s willing to go for different things. The flashbacks to her family “before” everything happened are also quite creepy as they look quite a bit like our current society. Mixed feelings on this one, but I’d still highly recommend giving it a read.
Warning: Contains violence and sexual content.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? I think it’d be good for everyone to give it a read as it’s becoming more of a classic and a new TV show is coming out based on it!