Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Imagine the world changing, moving back to old and unwanted ways . . . individuals losing their simple rights . . . being treated as objects with a single purpose instead of as unique individuals as complex beings. In Atwood's post modern tale, The Handmaid's Tale, we follow Offred . . . a woman once happy in marriage with her husband, Luke and daughter, Daisy. The world changes, however. At first, it was just little things . . . a few protests here and there . . . but then, next thing you know, the entire country succumbs to a new era. Those who disagree try to escape, many not successfully. Offred and her family attempt to flee to Canada, but find themselves whirled away and planted elsewhere. Offred is chosen (or rather, assigned) to become a handmaid, a woman with the sole purpose of bearing children. She is not allowed to think. It is not recommended to question. She dare not to rock the boat in any way for fear of the ultimate punishment that she witnesses on a weekly basis . . . bodies blowing in the wind. But, she still thinks . . . can there be any hope?

My personal reading was my first dramatic listen. I often wonder if this format has affected my opinion of the story. Maybe if I re-read it in book format, I will have the same opinion. Maybe I won't. I don't know and I will not know until I do!

In the meantime, I will tell you this . . . I am not sure what I think of Atwood's tale! It has left me pondering the world, about the ending, about our freedoms and beliefs in general. All this thought, even after completing it more than a week ago, makes me think it's got to be good to make me think so much! On the other hand, it has left me with feelings of despair and with questions about the choices we (as an entire human race) make. BUT, then again, I feel like I'm missing something . . . maybe it's the details from the format in which I experienced it? Or, maybe it's my interpretations? Or, maybe this emptiness was purposeful on the part of the author?

Can you enlighten me?!?

Want another opinion?


  1. I think that having mixed feelings and wondering about things is a good way to be when you finish a book!

    Here's my review of it

  2. Hahaha, no you're not the only one. I think practically all of Atwood's books are like that. =/

  3. This book creeped me out. Not that it was scary but it leaves you thinking what if?

  4. Making you think is the sign of a great book! Remember this one having the same sort of impact on me when I read it, and I loved it! Has been awhile since I read it, so may have to dig out my copy for a reread. Thanks!

  5. I'd decided not to read this one a while back ago. Too many reviews like this had me thinking it wasn't the book for me.

  6. J.T. . . . Thanks for the link!! I'm going to head over and check it out!! And, I agree . . . a book that keeps me thinking after the last page can't be all that bad!! :) BTW, I'm going to add your link to my review too!!

    heidenkind . . . I'm glad to hear that I am not alone!! Now, I'm wondering if I should check out more of her books?!?!

    Zia . . . EXACTLY!!! That is what I am thinking!!

    Alexia561 . . . I'm definitely thinking this one needs to be a re-read . . . but one that I actually read and not listen to the second time around!

    J. Kaye . . . I'm still not sure I can say I like it! Not sure if I would recommend it! But, definitely one good for discussion!!

  7. J.T. . . . I just read your review, but your comments are closed, so I thought I would post here again instead! Great review!! BUT, it really makes me think that I missed a ton of information through the dramatized reading! Definitely need to re-read!!


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