Review: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Release Date: March 16, 1985

Publisher: Anchor Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 311

Source: BF

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…

3 out of 5 stars

I had such high hopes for this book, and they fell a little short. I am usually quite fond of dystopian novels, but this one was SO HARD for me to get into. It felt like every time I had to stop reading I left the world more than I usually do with books.

This novel follows Offred who is a Handmaid for her Commander and his wife. Her sole purpose is to get pregnant from the Commander, so then he and his wife can have a child. She gets held down once a month during her most fertile time while the Commander mindlessly has sex with her. She is the last hope for the Commander and his wife, but Offred can’t help but remember her own husband and her child from before this time of being a Handmaid.

The premise of this book is so unique and very interesting, but I don’t think the execution was what it could have been. Nothing happened until 250 pages in! I wanted some action, or at least a little plot. I felt bad for Offred, but I also was kind of confused while reading this. I don’t know the extent of her relationship with the Commander, and I’m sure that’s intentional, but I think too much was left unsaid for me to fully enjoy this book.

I might watch the TV show because I feel like this would translate much better with actors on a screen rather and words on a page, but I’m not going to jump right into it. Again, I really enjoyed the concept of this story, but it took way too long for anything to happen.

I was unsure about the purpose of the party other than the fact that she saw Moira again. Was that the whole reason? I feel like there had to be some underlying moral or message to that, but it must have just gone right over my head.

The ending seemed lackluster to me. She gives in to society and the people around her. I wanted a rebellion. I wanted SOMETHING to happen with her and the other people that were with her. I don’t knowwwwww. I wanted to love this. I really did.

All in all, I think this was an okay book. I enjoyed some parts of it, but I was mostly confused. I think part of it is that I didn’t like Margaret Atwood’s writing style. You should totally give this a try if you’re into dystopian, but maybe lower your expectations just a little tiny bit.

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