23 February 2016

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Attwood

Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Attwood
Pages: 311
Genre: Dystopian, Classic, Science- Fiction
Book Description:
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...

My Opinion:
This is a dystopian novel written in a time where woman have no control over their bodies and are only valued on their ability to reproduce. Attwood's feminist values are so important and I'm really pleased to have finally gotten round to reading it.

Dystopians are some of my favourite genres to read and this one was fantastic. The world created here was unusual and very well written, involving principles that are still relevant and, unfortunately, occurring to this day.

I loved the main character, Offred. Her strong and independent attitude inspires me because despite the horrific situation she finds herself trapped in, she still has hope. The commander was another interesting character, with similar traits to Offred. It was disgusting to hear what he had to do and his role in society at the beginning and I disliked him greatly, but as the novel progressed, this changed and I felt myself sympathising with him a little bit. This wasn't something I expected was going to happen.

Similarly, the story line was unexpected and I was constantly hooked. At the beginning I was very intrigued as I wanted to find out more about the society the novel was set, and this stayed the entire way through, perhaps due to the unpredictable twists throughout! There were flashbacks that explained Offred's past life with her husband and child which I enjoyed hearing about since I was able to see just how drastically everything had changed.
The ending was left ambiguously which I thought was a good trait since it allowed us, as readers, to decide what happened to Offred.

This powerful topic is still relevant today and, with myself being a feminist, I believe that everyone should read this. It's intriguing and the almost all of the characters end up surprising you at some point. Definitely worth a read!

Favourite Quotes:

But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind


You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself


But people will do anything rather than admit that their lives have no meaning. No use, that is. No plot


I want to be held and told my name. I want to be valued, in ways that I am not; I want to be more than valuable. I repeat my former name; remind myself of what I once could do, how others saw me

Rating ★
4 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
DNA by Dennis Kelly

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