Alison's Reviews > The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, 2014_reread, re-read, ebook, md-elibrary, bookclub, 2017-read-harder-challenge
Read 2 times. Last read June 17, 2017 to June 21, 2017.

Read again in 2017 for book club. Still chilling, it for addoitional reasons.

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I'm not sure when I originally read this - probably late in high school or in college - but I'm very glad I came back to it. If you've forgotten the basic premise, the narrator, Offred (like "of Fred" - as in the male head of her current household, her name changes as she is moved from place to place), is a handmaid - her only job is to bear a child in a society where pollution and viruses have made many people sterile. She lives with a high-ranking political/military leader and his wife, and each month participates in a bizarre sex ritual with both of them. She is old enough to remember a time "before," when she could do things like have a job, and raise her daughter, and wasn't forced to participate in weird community religious ceremonies.

In Offred's telling, it was really the speed and ease with which the rights of all women were stripped away that got me. Fire all women employed anywhere, move their (state held) bank accounts (society is cashless and no credit cards) to their closest male next of kin, and voila.

I definitely recommend reading this again (or to begin with) if you haven't recently. I could not put this down and read it in two nights, staying up much later than I should have. Ooops.

Date originally read: Not sure - over a decade at least.
Change in rating? Yes - three to five stars
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Reading Progress

August 5, 2007 – Shelved
January 25, 2008 – Shelved as: fiction
March 27, 2013 – Shelved as: 2014_reread
January 6, 2014 – Started Reading
January 7, 2014 – Shelved as: re-read
January 7, 2014 – Shelved as: ebook
January 7, 2014 – Shelved as: md-elibrary
January 7, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 17, 2017 – Started Reading
June 21, 2017 – Shelved as: bookclub
June 21, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 1, 2018 – Shelved as: 2017-read-harder-challenge

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Hilary (new)

Hilary Interesting. I was not a huge fan of this in high school. Perhaps it's worth another visit.


Alison I think it would be. I'm definitely more aware of feminism and repro rights issues than I was whenever I last read this, and I think that awareness really heightens the impact of the book.


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