Book #96 was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The back of the book reads:
A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwoodâ€™s The Handmaid’s Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time.
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.
Like Aldous Huxleyâ€™s Brave New World and George Orwellâ€™s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid’s Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.
I was a little frightened of reading this book. I’m not a big fan of dystopian fiction, and I was afraid it was going to be too over-the-top, too unbelievable. But I was pleasantly surprised… While this isn’t particularly a happy story, it was an interesting one. Offred’s world seems unreal to me, but not unbelievable. And I especially liked the open-ended conclusion. Maybe Offred got away? Maybe society has reverted somewhat back to the “norm”? We don’t know for sure, but there’s enough there to give you a little twinge of hope. I am glad this is something I waited to read, because I think if I had read it when I was younger, I wouldn’t have understood it fully.
Page count: 311 | Approximate word count: 101,075