My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.
I really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale; it didn’t at all feel like a 30 year old story.
Dystopian books really get to me because they remind me just how powerless I would be if these far-fetched ideas actually came into power. If I found myself in Atwood’s Republic of Gilead, what would I be able to do if my boss told me women could no longer be employed? Who could I complain to about my bank card not working if females were no longer entitled to have money? If my choices were between (essentially) slavery resulting in certain death or becoming a Handmaid I honestly can’t say which I would choose. And when it comes down to it, that’s what I like most about reading; considering these topics I wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to.
Content aside, I enjoyed the pacing of the book. Finding out bit by bit about the narrator really kept me interested (I refuse to call her Offred because it is so demeaning!). The ending I thought was perfect. I know people don’t like endings that are left open to question like that but it fitted really well.