The Handmaid's Tale Review
I first became interested in reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood when I saw the preview for the series on Hulu. Coincidentally, it was chosen as the May/June book on Our Shared Shelf. For a full summary, click here.
*DISCLAIMER* If you’re looking for a review on how this novel raises political and feminist controversy, that’s not what I’m offering here. This book was first published in 1985 and is just as relevant today. It’s political controversy is fascinating, though a little creepy, to research. A simple Google search will do.
Now, like I said, it was first published in 1985, and possibly now even more notable than before. It’s a terrifying, disturbing, and excellent read! Through the narrator’s perspective, Offred, you’re transported to the Republic of Gilead, a male dominated society. Gilead makes you realize what we have, and what we often take for granted.
Freedom, democracy, self-determination, the ability to make your own decisions, be courageous, and stand up for what you believe in. Atwood weaves a story that makes you afraid to give up the things you never knew you were afraid of losing. A message everyone should mull over.
Something that bothered me when I read this book was that my local library had it listed under “fantasy.” Let me be clear, I would never censor what my child read, but I do believe in age appropriation. I can’t imagine a 10 year old, looking to read Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Lewis Carroll checking out The Handmaid’s Tale because it was listed in the fantasy section. I’m not sure if the first discussion of the birds and the bees wants to come from “Do you and daddy have the ceremony?” but I digress.
The ending of the novel frustrated me to no end. I cursed Atwood and threw the book across the room, I have witnesses. It wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I had hoped; it leaves you questioning two different fates for Offred. But that’s Atwood’s point isn’t it? In my opinion, the Hulu series did the ending justice, I really would’ve been angry if they had changed it.
"By telling you anything at all I'm at least believing in you, I believe you're there, I believe you into being. Because I'm telling you this story I will your exsitence. I tell, therefore you are." -Offred
-Go with the tide-
Questions for you:
-What do you think of the Handmaid’s tale? (Book or Hulu series, specify in comments)
-What are your thoughts on it being listed as fantasy?
-Did you like the ending?