Friday, June 23, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

This novel is my favorite novel and is written by my favorite author of all time. And the fact that it was written in 1985 just blows my mind. It's set in a dystopian American society sometime in the near future. The government has been overrun by the conservative religious zealotry. The Constitution is gone and women have no rights. The main character in the novel is our narrator - Offred - who is a handmaid to a powerful government official. Her only job is to bear children for this man. During the course of her days, we are given insights into the lives of the other women in society and glimpses of how the country got to be the way that it was. There were many, many poignant moments in this book that absolutely struck me beyond belief but the one that struck me the most was when Offred went to use her debit card in the time before she became a handmaid and learned that her account had been frozen and all of her assets transferred to her husband's account literally overnight.

This was an incredibly relevant novel when it was published and it is still highly relevant. In the 80's there was much concern about backlash made for women's rights during the 60's and 70s. Today, there is concern in some parts of American society about women's rights being slowly and steadily eroded.  I also really like the pieces of sardonic humor that are well placed in this novel. They appealed to my own sense of humor. The author's extrapolations are very very carefully drawn from the trends of the time. I'm glad that she used Offred to tell the story - the POV made the novel.  Offred was so matter of fact in telling her story that you couldn't help but believe that everything that she said was true.

Definitely a must read and a must add to your library.

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