Noel's Reviews > The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Jan 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: traded-through-paperbackswap
Read in January, 2008

This novel takes place in the Republic of Gilead, somewhere near Boston and Maine in the near future. Christian fundamentalist men have overtaken the country completely and have religiously cleansed the country of undesireables. They have also confined the women into pre-conceived pigeon holes of housekeeping, breeding, and life threatening jobs -- all tightly controlled by a society of men who kill, maim and torture their opponents using a variety of methods already seen in the history of man. The story is told from the point of view of one person Offred, who reveals in bits and pieces how society allowed this to happen, by ruse and show undermining of free press and communication. She was separated from her husband, her child and her mother, afraid to talk, afraid of the spy system, made to look at dead hanging people, and constantly in fear of retaliation for misdeeds, Offred is a survivor.

Although I found the story a bit unbelievable, I didn't take it at face value - there were too many holes. However, the truth is that some aspects of this have happened in India, in Afghanistan, the rest of the Middle East and in the mormon community. Do we really have freedom of the press in the US? How much of what we hear and read is the whole truth and not just fed to us? While I don't think the story made an accurate case for the possibility of a fundamentalist takeover, I is a book which makes you think and managed to be very moving.


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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Chana (new)

Chana I thought I had read this book but I don't recognize this story line at all! Strange! I'll pick it up the next time I see it. Your review is very good.

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