The Handmaid’s Tale

I read this a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been looking for the correct words to explain how I feel about this book. I’m at a loss and anything I can say about this book will not capture it’s power. What I can say is that this is a book that everyone, and I mean everyone, should read. If there was ever a book that makes a case for moderation in life, this is it.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot because I don’t want to ruin it. I want you all to go knowing what I knew about it, which was next to nothing—I read an excerpt from the first chapter about 6 weeks ago and it was so haunting that I finally bought the book because it was always out at the library. The book is set in a land where men have all the power and women are divided into four or five classes. The main ones being Wives, Handmaids, and Martha’s. As you read further, you realize that this whole society is based on the biblical story of Rachel, who couldn’t have children and instead sent her Handmaid to her husband to have children for her.

I think that’s enough. I don’t want to give too much away, because one of the best things about the book is the way it’s written. When you begin reading it, you’re immediately drawn into the story because of the story itself. It’s only as you read farther that you learn about how this society evolved and how the people who live in it really feel. Everything about the story is powerful, but for me it was the creation of the society that was most thought provoking. What I’ve been thinking since I finished is that we all need to stay vigilant. There’s that saying that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump right out, but if you put the frog in cold water and slowly boil the water, it’ll stay there and boil to death. That’s what I mean by vigilant; sometimes things happen so slowly that you don’t realize what’s happened until it’s too late.

Wow. That got a little deep. Anyway, read the book. It was really great and I can’t express how good it was in words.


2 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale

  1. One of my all-time favs. Read it years ago in college, but it has haunted me ever since. Atwood's stuff tends to do that to me.

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