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The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1)
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Book of the Month > June Book - The Handmaid's Tale

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Courtney | 300 comments Mod
Post your thoughts on The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

"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..."


message 2: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 37 comments I am enjoying this book so far (finally got my copy!) I love a book that makes you think. Anybody else reading?


Bethany Ellis | 4 comments I'm about half way done with the book and I'm horrified and fascinated by such a way of life. I keep contrasting her life to my life where we have 7 kids total. People have always stopped and looked (and commented) on our family size. To be in a world where there are so few babies... makes me sad. Adoption would be a way to add to our family now, but so many classmates of mine and friends are having babies as I'm approaching 40.

I'm a first born to parents in their 40s and I swore that was not what I wanted. I feel like this could happen with birth rates when women put off having children...


Courtney | 300 comments Mod
I just started reading mine too. I've read this book before in college and I can honestly say it's one of the most terrifying books I've ever read.

Bethany, I come from a family with 4 kids and I'm now older than my mom was when she had me. I would love to have kids one day but I really feel like it's important to have a stable environment to raise them, and I'm just not there financially. It makes me worry though because I know the longer I wait, the more complications there could be and so on... I feel like my generation is taking a lot longer to do things than my parents' generation mainly because it's difficult to get ahead financially, at least that's my problem (and honestly, I chose the wrong profession for getting rich; librarians are not known for being millionaires, haha). You must be really busy with 7 kids! Even with me and my 3 siblings, we were always running around like crazy when we were younger.


message 5: by Sheri (new)

Sheri Vincent | 51 comments I am 3/4 of the way through. This type of book is a bit different than I would read, but enjoying it. I have 7 siblings and one son. Courtney I don't think waiting is a bad thing.... I had my son at 38. I had an awesome pregnancy and no complications. Worked out up until 8 months. I waited until the time was right in my life and didn't focus on my age, and I am glad I did. Prior to my son I traveled, concerts, got my degree, etc. My focus is my son and I am blessed every day! I love our life. It is interesting coming from a large family and only having one child...I wanted six LOL!


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary | 63 comments This was not my favorite book, the topic a departure for me. I found out it is now a TV series on Hulu, if anyone wants to check it out.


message 7: by PugMom (new) - added it

PugMom (nicoleg76) | 190 comments I am sad to say that the book i ordered did not arrive. I ordered it used on Amazon and the jerk didn't send it!!! I complained and got my $$ back though! I will try to get a hold of a copy this weekend. I'm off from work for 2 weeks after this weekend so I'll have lots of time to catch up. This book sounds really different from what I normally read but I've been trying to diversify my reading!


message 8: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 37 comments It's getting a little bit long winded or repetitive in the middle (we get the idea!) but I really like what one person said, "there's freedom to, and there's freedom from." So perfectly sums up both ends of the spectrum!


Courtney | 300 comments Mod
Sheri, I just keep reminding myself that everyone's life works out differently and not to feel bad if mine doesn't match up with someone else's! I got my degree as well, and would like to travel so it'll probably be a little bit longer.

Nicole, that's awful! I'm glad you were able to get your money back. The book's definitely in a dystopian setting so if you haven't read much dystopian fiction, this is a really powerful place to start!

I'm about halfway through the book and I'm remembering why I loved and hated this book so much. The whole premise of the novel is one of the scariest things I've ever read, but Atwood's writing is so good (although I agree with the repetitive bit a little). I don't think I would make it in a society like that.


Courtney | 300 comments Mod
I've finished the book and I forgot how sad the end of the book made me. (view spoiler)


message 11: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 37 comments But it's good because there's hope for society! (I think that's what the last chapter is for?)


Courtney | 300 comments Mod
Shirley wrote: "But it's good because there's hope for society! (I think that's what the last chapter is for?)"

That's true! (view spoiler)


message 13: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 37 comments I have been using Goodreads app so I didn't get to read the spoiler removed comments until now! Good question Courtney. They seem very skeptical.


message 14: by Meghan (last edited Jul 05, 2017 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan Hi all- I'm Meghan, new to the group and excited to be here :)

Re: Handmaid's Tale - I found the book suspenseful, at times difficult to read (mostly because of (view spoiler) .

Has anyone watched the Hulu series? I started it but, for similar reasons, found it difficult to watch..

Given our current political climate, regardless of what side you take, I find it interesting that a book like this (focus on extreme conservatism, extreme government and extreme regulation) has become so popular. It makes me wonder if people are looking for answers, help, hope?

While this certainly isn't a "feel good" read (I don't know anyone who has read it and thinks "wow that was inspirational!"), from a literary point of view, I think it's very well done. Questions left for the reader at the end - (view spoiler) . We never do find out (view spoiler) .


Meghan Courtney wrote: "Sheri, I just keep reminding myself that everyone's life works out differently and not to feel bad if mine doesn't match up with someone else's! I got my degree as well, and would like to travel so..."

Courtney- "Loved and hated this book" - I so agree! In many ways, this book is so much scarier than a horror or thriller read. Its both unimaginable and imaginable in a "what if that really happened" kind of way.


Courtney | 300 comments Mod
Meghan wrote: "Hi all- I'm Meghan, new to the group and excited to be here :)

Re: Handmaid's Tale - I found the book suspenseful, at times difficult to read (mostly because of [spoilers removed] .

Has anyone ..."


Welcome to the group! I probably won't watch the Hulu series because I don't think I'd be able to get through it. I'm glad that it was created though, because it has sparked such a renewed interest in the book.

I'm sure people have lots of different reasons for reading this book, but when I read it, I get a warning from it. It reminds me how easily a society that seems stable can crumble. If people don't ask questions and refuse to take actions against what they know is wrong, things can fall apart way too easily.

I think (view spoiler) Great questions, Meghan!!


message 17: by PugMom (new) - added it

PugMom (nicoleg76) | 190 comments I finally got the book from the library. Although there were SEVERAL copies available in the library system, my request was not honored for 2 months. I find that pretty odd and annoying. Did this happen to anyone?


message 18: by Courtney (last edited Aug 02, 2017 06:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Courtney | 300 comments Mod
NicoleG wrote: "I finally got the book from the library. Although there were SEVERAL copies available in the library system, my request was not honored for 2 months. I find that pretty odd and annoying. Did this h..."

I'm sorry this happened! Sometimes libraries will have multiple copies in the system and decide to make some of their copies only available for local holds. That means that you either need to go to that library to get the book, or be one of their patrons. That's the main reason I can think of why there would be items available without your hold being filled for so long. If a library tries to send their local hold book to fill a hold at another library, the computer won't recognize the action and nothing will happen. This can be really frustrating though. I'm sorry it took so long for the library system to get you the book :( If this happens in the future, feel free to call us, or your home library to see what the holdup is and if we can fix it somehow.


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