Let me just say that this book was originally published in 1985…1985! The Handmaid’s Tale has been more publicized courtesy of Hulu and Alexis Bledel. I don’t subscribe to Hulu, so I didn’t jump on the bandwagon series. However, The Handmaid’s Tale was a free option with Kindle Unlimited, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
I’m super glad I did.
This is a book that starts in the heart of the action, and reflects back on how the characters got to be in those situations throughout the novel. As a big picture of the novel, it takes place in a super conservative bubble in the US. The government was overthrown, and bible thumpers and zealots took over. As a result, women were given one job, one task. Some were wives. If you weren’t able to produce children, your household was granted a Handmaid, whose sole purpose is to have a viable womb.
There are men and women condemned and hanged for things they did in their “past life” (when America was as we’re somewhat used to it). Things like being a doctor. I kid you not. Children were stripped from their homes and their families and raised how the zealots deemed appropriate.
I was not even a little bit expecting this book to be what it was. I had only seen promos for the show on cable when I visited my parents. It looked like something that took place back in the 1800s when women were generally suppressed, maybe in a convent or something. It completely caught me off guard that it took place in more modern times.
If you’re looking for an engaging read that’s going to surprise you, I would definitely recommend The Handmaid’s Tale. It was a fairly quick read and was good enough to distract me from my flight anxiety on a recent trip.
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