Age Recommendation: 15+
The Handmaids Tale was written by Margret Atwood in the 1980’s and is a dystopian novel following a women called Offred. In this world they live in, there is a fertility crisis due to radioactive poisoning and a variety of other natural disasters. The american government is overthrown and a new government is formed in which their core belief is that women’s only function is to breed. The women of the country are sorted into groups based on their fertility. The most fertile women are turned into Handmaidens and are forced to breed with the men of important families.
This book had many dark themes and controversial topics in it but I think that it was important for me to read this book at this age as it created more of an impression on me. I agree that certain aspects of the book reflected today’s society (obviously much less extreme examples). Atwood created a message in her book to prevent this world from ever becoming a reality and this I wholeheartedly agree with.
Offred was a very important character in this book and I think that Atwood was able to establish a connection between the reader and the protagonist so early on in the book. I feel that Offred represented so much and was a character which evoked so much emotion from me as a reader.
At the end of the book there is an Epilogue called Historical Notes. Right at the start I wasn’t really overly positive that I could actually be bothered to read it (me being lazy) and I can now tell you I would have regretted it if I hadn’t. The epilogue was the perfect way to wrap up the story and gave lots of hope to the reader. It answered some questions and… created more!! So I would definitely recommend reading the Historical Notes (especially for those that are lazy!!).
I thought that this book was a very important read and I think that everybody should read it as it changed the way I think. This book was originally rated a 12+ on the back of the cover however I completely disagree with this recommendation as I believe that it should be read by people over the age of 14 as it has some very adult content in it that I think, personally, would be unsuitable for people of any younger than 15.
I gave this book a 5.0/5.0 because I knew the importance the book had and I understood that it has kind of changed the way I think forever. I think that although the book has some extremely dark moments, they are needed to create the full effect that the writer intended. I can see why Atwood has received so much praise and I can’t wait to read the sequel to this book.
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one option: to breed. If she deviates she will, like all dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offreds nor that of the men on whom her future hangs.
About The Author
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian writer who was born on November the 18th, 1939 in Canada. She is a worldwide known author who has written spellbinding poems, short stories and novels including ‘The Circle Game’, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘, ‘The Blind Assassin‘, ‘Oryx and Crake‘ and ‘The Tent‘. Her works have been translated into a variety of different languages and have been made into screen adaptations, with both Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace becoming televison series’ in 2017. Earlier this year she also published the sequel to The Handmaids Tale 34 years later.