The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – #20booksofsummer

This is my 5th book in th #20booksofsummer reading challenge hosted by Cathy at 746Books.

I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.

Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford her assigned name, Offred, means of Fred . She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.

My thoughts:
This is one of the books that I knew I had to read, and when I opened it I had no idea that it was originally published in 1985. What fascinates me about this is that nearly 40 years later it is still extremely relevant in how women are perceived. Especially with Trump in office.

It took some time for me to start getting into the book because it is a style of writting that I’m not used to. There were a lot of time frame jumps, and because it’s set in such a strange period I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, and therefore I ended up putting it down and reading The Hate U Give. But I picked it up again pretty quickly and I got used to the writing style.

I’m so glad that I did because it was a really good story.
I found the relationship between Offred and the Commander to be interesting. I don’t want to go into too much detail here because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone thta hasn’t read it but let’s just say, it’s interesting and the Commander definitely has some warped ideas.

I would have loved if the book had a clearer ending, but then again I understand why there wasn’t a clear ending and I thought that was extremely clever! (Again I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t yet read it).

I also really enjoyed how Offred developed and so to did her memories. It seems as though as she is growing more frustrated with what is happening, the more she looks back on what her life was like before with more skeptisism.

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65 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – #20booksofsummer”

  1. We share the same sentiment with the ending! I also had a hard time at first with the writing style and lack of punctuation. A profound book that will make you think about our society at the present time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a massive reader, unless it’s reading Harry Potter for the billionth time, but this has been sitting on my book shelf since college gathering dust despite how excited I am to read it, I just never seem to be in that right mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just finished this book too! I watched the first episode of the show, stopped immediately to read the book before continuing, and then am currently making my way through the show. And wow, the complex relationships in this book are so hard to wrap my mind around. I can’t imagine being subjected to this kind of lifestyle and the new society they created is so bizarre. The open ending drove me nuts! lol I’m glad I have the show to fill in some of my thoughts about what happened next. It’s a really great book that encourages deep thought about our current world, and it’s such an easy read

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t believe I still haven’t watched the show! I found it quite difficult to read because the concept of it was so overmy head I just couldn’t at all imagine how the character must feel living in a world like that. Especially if they knew the world before!


  4. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favourite books, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Personally, I quite liked the ambiguity with which the novel ends. If you’d like to know how the story continued, I recommend reading The Testaments, which fills in the gaps that The Handmaidโ€™s Tale has left unresolved ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Started watching the show but stopped because it was just so bizarre to me. I can’t believe society could get so warped. Then again, I am not sure I want to read the book because I will never get the graphics out of my head. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights. Maybe one day I will read this book but for now I will take a pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have heard so many good things about this book and TV series but I find the whole concept of this book terrifying. I appreciated your great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Completely agree with the ending but I unfortunately was underwhelmed throughout! Think itโ€™s because I had it SO HYPED by so many people. Brill review ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooh great review! This is one I feel like I should read – and want to – I just haven’t got around to it yet. Reading your thoughts is making me more excited for reading it though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One of my favorite things about this book was that it left so much up to your imagination, including the ending. I did not like the tv show because it filled in all the blanks, spelled it all out… thanks for this review!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t read this book yet but so many people have told me I need to read it. I was thinking about watching the tv series but I think I’ll try the book first so that I’m not influenced by the show. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time as it sounds like a really interesting historical book and a great writing style with the flashbacks etc..im just worried about the sensitive nature ruining the book for me if its graphic etc.! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair it isn’t all that graphic, there are some bits that are a little uncomfortable but there isn’t tpp much detail in the graphic bits, but I completely understand that feeling! Xx


    1. It is difficult given the concepts and the circumstances of the book, and to be honest I had to stop a couple of times during the book just to process it. I hope you do enjoy it if you try it again


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