Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review: The Handmaid's Tale

Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Format: Audiobook
Reading Dates: May 27, 2013 - June 12, 2013
Rating: ****1/2

In a recent season of the TV show Survivor, contestants stood in shoulder-deep water in the Pacific Ocean. Above their heads was a railing, and as the tide slowly came in they went from chatting amiably with each other to sputtering pitifully, their noses pressed as far through the railing as nature would allow, trying to grab that last bit of air that they could. As I read The Handmaid's Tale, that same deep sense of claustrophobia crept over me. That sudden panic when you realize that everything was just fine a little bit ago, but how in the hell did I get here and will I ever be able to get out?

The unnamed handmaid in this case lives in a dystopian future where religious fundamentalists have taken over the United States. Infertility is the norm, so the powers that be enforce a strict interpretation of the Old Testament and conscript young women who may have a chance at being fertile into becoming the handmaids of powerful leaders. Their sole purpose is to bring a baby into the world, and their life is limited to only that.

The fact that I felt like I was choking from lack of air most of the time I read this book is testament to Margaret Atwood's fine writing and Clare Dane's masterful narration. This one has been tagged by editors as an Audible Essential, and I agree. Really good book, highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment