My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a cruel society this Gilead is. In a way, ‘The Handmade’s Tale’ could almost be considered a necessary read for those who want to see what not to do — to see the depths to which humanity should not travel. But it is more than that; it deals with many of the struggles that we face today, especially pertaining to how women are treated, even in so-called free and equal societies. We are only a hop and a skip from a group of conceited and disgruntled congressmen or a self-loving president from introducing laws that encroach upon freedoms we took for granted, and it feels this is made all the more relevant with what is happening around the world today.
Atwood’s writing, at the same time, is more personal, more poetic, while dealing with these difficult issues, and the narration takes an intimate look at one handmaid’s experiences in particular. During my read through the book, there was a point where I felt that the story may end up not living up to the ingenious setting and ideas that were created, but the final 50 pages left a big impact on me. In fact, the final chapter had me reflecting on the story in ways that I had not imagined. And some small pacing issues aside, the book is well written, and every quirk and method of style that Atwood uses is deliberate.
I would recommend people to read this book — that is, if they can handle reading some of the more absurd ideas of American society (and society in general) being realized.