Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Handmaid's Tale - 3M's Review

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

1986, 311 pages

Rating: 4.5

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.

The original review may be found here.


Michelle said...

I read this book a few months ago and loved it. What really interested me, is how Atwood illustrated how the lives of many different women changed and how they lived their lives and how different they each were, from her friend who she met at the party, her mother, the wives of the captains...

Lisa said...

I read this my junior year in highschool and while I remember liking it, I don't think I fully grasped the idea. I do remember being shocked at the same thing you were, but then I was 16! it's on my list for this challenge, so I can't wait to see how it compares to my memory.