The Handmaid’s Tale revolves around Offred and her life as Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She inhabits a world where women are no longer allowed to read, nor do they have control over their own bodies. She resides in the home of the Commander and his wife where her one of her duties is to provide the couple with a child. Every month, she is made to endure her ‘duty’ as a viable ovary in an age where the rate of births are at a decline and the value of a woman is judged primarily on her ability to bear children.
That premise alone should give readers an idea of what to expect from Margaret Atwood’s magnum opus. It offers a scathing look at the patriarchy and our culture at large by offering readers a look at a grim dystopia of what we could become. Like other works in this genre, the Handmaid’s Tale provides readers with a cautionary tale and an urgent challenge.
As you probably know, this book has since been adapted into an award-winning TV show. Yet, we highly recommend that you read the source material as well.