Book Review: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Book twenty six of my 2019 Reading Challenge.

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

I have been wanting to read this book so I can start watching the series on Hulu. I knew the premise was different than the average dystopian novel, but I really liked the story and message it conveyed.

Offred’s character is a very strong female lead that is relatable in a world where everything is falling down. She faces many challenges that are not directly connected with today’s common challenges but fall within the same vein. Her thoughts, mannerisms and whole experience is detailed with both moments of the present and moments of the past which I really enjoy. This blend of the past and present is character development at its finest and if you’ve been following along with some of my other reviews, I love a good character development.

Offred’s story, though in an alternative universe, was written in a time of conflict (during the peak of the Cold War). Conflict will never go away in our society so being able to escape to a conflicted world that isn’t the same as my own is oddly refreshing. The way Atwood tells the handmaid’s tale is unique and attention-grabbing because of the parallels and metaphors related of modern America.

In addition to tying to today’s societal flaws and changes, the story also touches on ideas and practices of the past. The mix of past, present and dystopian future, makes the novel a great read. I never used to appreciate stories like this in the historical sense but have come to enjoy it most likely because of the sense that history has and will probably continue to repeat itself in many shapes and forms during my lifetime.

I recommend this novel to anyone that is interested in a dystopian-style story that also comments on events of the past. I do plan to read Atwood’s sequel The Testaments soon (it’s being released this month) so stay tuned for that review.

Stay tuned for my next review: Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley

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