The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
Or: Under His Eye
Synopsis: 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…
Reading Method: Audiobook
So people had been recommending this book to me for YEARS. Literally. I sort of put it off because it quite frankly intimidated me. I knew it was going to wake me up, and I knew it was going to be dark. It wasn’t until it blew up when the TV show was announced that I began to think about it again. I downloaded it as an audiobook, and then promptly forgot about it.
A few weeks before the show was due to air, I remembered I had it after finishing off the audiobook for ‘The Order of the Phoenix”. I decided to listen, not thinking much of it.
This book man.
You know how rare it is for a book to live up to its hype?
This book does.
This book is incredible. Everyone needs to read this book, and I mean everyone. From your grandmother to your cousin’s aunt. Especially get the men in your life to read this book. Men NEED to read this.
Because here is what makes this book so dang scary, and makes it so gut wrenching; this is HAPPENING.
The beginning lead up to the formation of the Republic of Gilead is HAPPENING NOW.
I frequently sat shaking while listening to the smooth tones of Johanna Davis, paranoid that at any moment, the roll out was going to happen.
As a female, and as a feminist, I can’t even begin to describe to you how important this book is. Atwood is a goddess. The truth she delivers is amazing. Every sentence, no, every word is filled with so much meaning and purpose. Everything is thought out. She doesn’t bother to fill the story with action; she creates such a rich world with such complex characters, you don’t need the finger biting action; you’ve already bit your fingernails into stubs with the descriptions.
This book is a hard book. You’re not going to sit there and fly through it. There was frequent times where I had to put it down and physically walk away from it for a few minutes because it got too much. When a book affects you that much, it’s a good book. If you feel so passionately about the welfare of a fictional character, then its a good book.
There’s a reason this book has won so much critical praise.
I physically can’t do it justice. I’m not even going to try.
I am woke. So many other women are woke, due to this book. The TV series, while good, just doesn’t pack the same punch. The TV series has messed with the original story a little bit too much. I would definitely recommend reading the book before dipping your toes in the TV Series. But that’s just my opinion.
This book will stay with me for a very very long time. And hands down, I hope you read it, and it does the same for you.
Under His Eye.