The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood [Book Review]

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 1/2 stars

Is it fair to call this the feminist 1984? I think so. It is timeless. It speaks for women’s rights as much now, maybe more, as it did the day it was published. It is a powerful piece of work but I would be remiss if I said it was as important to me as it is to a woman. I’m happily married and the father to two girls so I can’t even begin to want to fathom a reality where they would be in this kind of danger. I just expect that my gut reaction isn’t as strong as that of a woman’s.

But how was the book?

I loved the poetic nature of the descriptive paragraphs. The stream of conscious style of writing was captured as though you were actually listening to recordings of these thoughts. The only thing that didn’t resonate was the ending. It felt disjointed, maybe just by the nature of being a different style, and hard to follow. The interview part of it was a bit better, and I don’t know what could have been done differently, but I still felt removed from it.

Still, this book is the perfect illustration of what happens when you take away, not only a woman’s rights, but a woman’s voice. The moment we can’t decide for ourselves, we aren’t really living.

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