The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.
My View (no spoilers)
I was intrigued to read this book which was recommended by Emma. Only a few short months before the Coronavirus hit and changed our lives. I had seen the author Margaret Attwood interviewed. She said that she had never intended to write a sequel but as American was changing rapidly she was concerned that her dystopian future / parallel world of fictional Gilead may not be too far from the way America was changing under President Trump’s administration.
Offred (we never learn her real name) once had a normal life as we know it. Friends, shopping, treats but the world changed. She is now a handmaid whose sole responsibility is to procreate with her commander (in the presence of his wife). The rest of her existence is bleak she is not expected to communicate with anyone, she is allowed no thoughts, opinions or emotions.
The start of the book was confusing and distorted but before long it became a gripping page turner. Through flashbacks to Offred’s previous life we are able to learn about her life and her personality yet we are not privy to how the world changed to be like this.
As Offred’s circumstances change we are scared and worried about her, should she take the chances that are offered to her? Surely anything is better than what she has now.
I recommend this book and a: will be reading it again and b: shall read the sequel ‘The Testament’ hoping to gain further answers to this disturbing new world.
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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