The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a dystopian novel set in Gilead, an extremist conservative nation, formerly known as the United States of America. The novel follows Offred, a woman living in Gilead who is known as a “Handmaid”. Handmaids are forced to bear children by law in Gilead. Before Offred was forced to become a Handmaid and had her freedom taken, she lived a happy life with her husband and daughter and her friend Moira. The Handmaid’s Tale goes back-and-forth between Offred’s past life and her present, following how she ended up becoming a Handmaid and the government of Gilead’s rise to power, and her experience living as a Handmaid, following her thoughts and actions while navigating life with no freedom.
I thought the Handmaid’s Tale was a very interesting and thought-provoking book to read. I found Offred to be a very intriguing narrator as she describes her situation and her thoughts on her life in Gilead throughout the book, yet it doesn’t feel like it drags on or focuses on one idea too long. Margaret Atwood has a very engaging writing style that is able to make even mundane events in the novel seem interesting and thought-provoking. The novel has many compelling and suspenseful moments that made me want to keep reading. I feel as though The Handmaid’s Tale is a very important book to read as it acts as a cautionary tale of the dangers of extremism which is why I think it is a must-read in my opinion!