20 October, 2017


Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Series: -
Genres: Fiction, Dystopian, Classic, Feminism
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Release: May 12th 2012
Source: Kindle/Audiobook
Pages:  370

// Goodreads /

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...

Martyna's Review

EXPECTATIONS: Margaret Atwood, is a wonderful writer. She is one of the inspirations, I draw from in my own writing. Her short story 'Death by Landscape' is one of my favorite stories of all time, and I cannot even express the love I have for that story. So going into this book I have to say, I was very high with my expectations, I wanted the same level of good writing as the short story. And boy did I go on a journey of emotions.

THE WORLD: The world is nothing like we know. It's set in a fictional near future world called Gilead, or what we would now know USA. The country has been taken over by religious fanatics, called 'Sons of Jacob' and after killing the Government, they changed the country. Basically, all women rights have been taken away, they have been made to literally slaves! They are not allowed to read and have these stupid pictures to understand what's what, they are not allowed to have an opinion, anything! Some more lucky ones are wives, others are maids, cleaners or handmaids whose number one job is to have babies for this messed up society. Men control everything, and everyone.

CHARACTERS: Our main character or narrator is Offred. Well her real name is June, but you see, since handmaid's are considered to be property of men, she is given the name of her 'owner' Fred, so quite literally she is Of - Fred. I mean I am getting angry even talking about this. In any case, Offfred is our hero and we follow her story and her life. We get to see her in the present time and in her past life, where she was married, worked and had a baby girl. As a handmaiden she has to wear red, and nothing else, she has to be obedient, and do what she is told. But we understand that Offred is smart, has a really good sense of humor and is strong! I liked her, she was different and it really seemed that she wanted to survive in this horrible world.

Another really important character I think, who honestly I didn't knew if he was good or bad was Nick. He worked as a driver for the same family Offred did. He was good to Offred and I liked that multiple times said how sorry he was that this was happening to her.

So the family Offred is a handmaid too is Fred (The Commandor) and Serena Joy. They are pretty high up in the society. I have to admit, I kind of understood the difficulty they all had to deal with. You see they had the handmaid because they couldn't consece a child, it might have been the Commandor's fault but in this society is was thought that only women are barren, so that's why they had Offred, and they had to do the 'ceremony' where...well....I guess you couldn't imagine what was done during the ceremony, between the three of them, so that Offred could get pregnant and do her 'duty'.

We also have other handmaid's for example Ofglen, a girl Offred be-friends, but who disappears.

ROMANCE: Well it's difficult to say. I mean we do have sort of a romance thing between Offred and Nick, and we get to see her with her husband, but love doesn't play a big part in this book believe me.

GOOD: I did like this book A LOT! But I was so angry reading it because you know what? I understood that this is not a fictional dystopia, with games or powers or anything, this is reality. The events in this good could easily happen today, now, to you and me and it made me scary and sad, and angry and hopeful that maybe the world won't go down this way.

BAD: The ending was a little confusing, but other than that. Nothing.

OVERALL: I would recommend this to anyone and everyone to read!

HannahCassie's Review

EXPECTATIONS: I have never really read anything of Atwood but the hype this book was getting on book community was getting my attention plus the fact that is has been been into a tv show didn't hut either. Tho I watched the show only after I read the book.

THE WORLD: I would love to say it is a dystopian world but I truly believe that would be wrong. I think the book is actually set in pretty near future and between lines even in today's world. Basically the religious group takes over the USA government, well more only some big cities it's not all USA. The idea is that birth rate has declined severely and this religious group is all about 'saving human race' aka promoting or well actually pushing births. However, the reason rate has declined was not really because of abortions or career women who say no to children. It was because of health issues, women same as men are mainly infertile and the ones that are usually cannot carry the child to birth. So what the religious group does? They gather all women that did give birth to healthy children and make them into these slaves, every month on most fertile period men would rape them with hopes of them getting pregnant. To make it even more perverse their wives would hold the maid down while they rape them. It is considered a great honer to be this maid and a blessing when pregnancy is confirmed. Does it remind you of today? How many groups are out there pushing that giving birth is woman's duty? What was first thing trump did? Yes go against abortions. Women apparently should not have a say if she wants a child or not. So you see why I said that between lines this is really our world that we live in today. Women do not have any rights. They are forbidden to read, to educate themselves, the maid even have their names taken away! This is human history looking at itself in a mirror with a false name of fiction. 

CHARACTERS: Offred is a maid of the commander aka Fred. Yes she is literary called a property of Fred. All maids are called like this, the properties of the men that rape them. So Offred is our main character and I feel offence calling her that, in book her real name is not mentioned but in the tv show she is called June so this is what I will call her here too. June is sweet and caring and incredibly smart. It takes her really little time to realize how things world in this new society and what she can do to rebel against it without being killed. She actually doesn't really care about her own life only of her daughter's that was taken away. I do not want to talk too much about June however as I feel it would not do her justice. Let me just say that she is strong...way stronger than I could ever be in her situation. I believe that June would be a feminist activist if she lived among us today. 

ROMANCE: What romance can there be where is rape involved? 

GOOD: I think this book is very real and very inspiring. Nobody should tell women that it is their duty to have children. Marriage, children and women raising the children while men have a 'real' job is already pushed too much in our society! It is like you can only have a satisfying fulfilled life if you are married and have children. And what about education and career? Why a woman is a cold hearted bitch and there is something wrong with her if she 'only' has an impressive career but is not married and has no children? We do not live in a country ruled by religious fanatics and yet our society thinks exactly same. 

BAD: I found this book a bit slow sometimes. 

OVERALL: I highly recommend this book to everybody and especially women. And if you still ain't convinced just go and watch the show because it is done really brilliant, probably best book adaptation I have ever seen. 

What do you think about THE HANDMAID'S TALE?