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....
I decided to read this after finishing The published books of The Hunger Game trilogy. My reasoning being a love of distopian society books that was brought back to the surface after reading The Hunger Games. The Handmaid's Tale fit that criteria and had also been highly recomended to me.
Margaret is a superb writier but I was not a huge fan of the book. I stated in my review of The Hunger Games that I had a friend who could not get past children killing children. Well I couldn't get past the "sex slave" type aspect of this book. I also found it compleatly unbeleivable. No matter what the government does (even back with this book was writen, late 80's) there is no way women will just lay down and take this drastic of a society change.
The book abruptly ends which I guess is how it had to and I would have been okay with that type of ending but Margaret goes on to add an epiloge. It is set further in the future where the society Offred lived in is being studied. This to me added nothing but I guess I can see how some people would need a bit more closure. I beleive that my total lack of being able to swallow the theory behind this book made me not need any closure.
I do however think that they should remake the movie. I didn't know there was a movie until after I had cast it. The movie came out in 1990 and the amazing thing is that I even cast some of the characters the same (and remember I did not know there was a movie).
My cast at Story Casting
Offred (The Handmaid): Natalie Portman
The Commander: Robert Duvall (this is the character I cast the same)
Serena Joy: Susan Sarandon
Moira: Kirsten Dunst
Aunt Lydia: Anjelica Huston
Aunt Elizabeth: Jodie Foster
Nick: Scott Caan