The Handmaid’s Tail, finished March 9


  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Pub. Date: March 1998
  • 320pp

Synopsis (from

In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies?

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 only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days 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….

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Nan’s Notes:

Wow. I don’t know how to put into words how great this book was. The writing immediately pulls you in. I wish I had been able to just sit and read this book straight through from cover to cover without stopping. It’s that kind of book.

It’s told in the first person, through the voice of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Her past is told throughout the book, days when she was married and had her own child when the Republic of Gilead was known as the United States of America. Even though this book was written in 1986, it’s look at a possible near future is chilling.

This was the first Margaret Atwood book that I have read… it won’t be the last.

Bottom line: Set aside a Saturday afternoon, a cup of tea, turn off the phone, and curl up with on the couch with the dog to enjoy this book that won’t let you put it down. Enjoy!

Rating: 5/5



3 Responses

  1. Glad you liked it. So did I. It is scary to read though, isn’t it? You think about some of the things that were written about already happening here and it makes you wonder. Not a world I’d want to be living in at all.

  2. Yes, not a place I would want to live in either. This was my first Margaret Atwood book and I’m looking forward to reading another one. Have you read other books of her’s?

  3. The only other one I’ve read was Alias Grace but I wouldn’t mind reading more of hers one day. Alias Grace was ok but nothing like Handmaids at all.

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