MINI BOOK REVIEW: THE HANDMAID’S TALE

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Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: 1985
ISBN: 9780385490818
Summary: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. In the age of declining births, Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable, and if they are able to produce a baby for the Commander and his wife. Offred remembers the time before when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge, but that time is now gone.

A Scary, but Interesting Read

There has been so much buzz about this book since the election of 45 and its adaptation on Hulu. I purchased The Handmaid’s Tale for Kindle a few years ago, but never got the chance to read it until now. Now seems like the perfect time because each day feels more like life imitating art, and I’d like to be prepared for the impending dystopian doom. Although the book kept my attention from start to finish, I was slightly underwhelmed by it as a whole. Maybe my expectations were way too high, but I was expecting a meatier story based on all the praise and hype surrounding this book. On a more positive note, the disjointed narration as Offred intertwined her current life as a Handmaid with her pre-Gilead life was a great method of storytelling. I was also glad the book did not tie up loose ends or wrap up the story in a cute bow because a story this dark has no credible happy ending.

Overall Opinion

I enjoyed the story, even though it was preaching to the choir. No one has to tell me how awful a society based on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Old Testament would be because I grew up in a Baptist church. This book is a cautionary tale for women who promote and believe in the subjugation of women by the patriarchy to be careful what you wish for.

The Final Grade

Page Turner: This is a perfect book club read, especially in a co-ed group, because there is so much discussion to be had about the roles class, gender, sexuality, and even race played in this book.

Your Turn

So…did you feel The Handmaid’s Tale lived up to the hype? Have you been enjoying our mini reviews? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more The Handmaid’s Tale? Take the What Woman from The Handmaid’s Tale Are You? Quiz!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I’m Katisha, the wizard behind Reel Literature. As a longtime book nerd, I hate to see an amazing book spoiled by a lackluster movie. Join me as I read the books that have definitely been watered down and most likely ruined by Hollywood. With a lot of humor and a little snark, I share my thoughts on all things books and the movies they inspire. Find me in these internet streets on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

7 Comments

  1. I read the Handmaid’s Tale in high school and became obsessed with Margaret Atwood. I’m pretty sure we’d be friends in real life 😉 I can totally see how it could be underwhelming. It’s kind of slow in the beginning and the book overall is very depressing. For a lighter read by Atwood, I recommend Blind Assassin. I think it’s my favorite Atwood novel.

  2. I haven’t read this book or seen the TV adaptation and I feel so out of the loop because everyone seems to be talking about it at the minute and I have no clue what they’re talking about haha! As much as this has been hyped up I don’t think it would actually be my cup of tea so I don’t know if I want to try and read it or not!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

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