Please be aware that this review contains some mild spoilers. Do not continue reading unless you are fine with being spoiled.
I first read The Handmaid’s Tale at university, nearly 10 years ago now. It’s stayed with me the whole time, and I was worried that my reread would reveal that it wasn’t as good as I remembered.
But I feel I was even more in love with The Handmaid’s Tale the second time around. It didn’t grip me as hard because I remembered what was about to happen, but the symbolism in this book is still astoundingly relevant to today’s society.
Initially published more than 30 years ago, The Handmaid’s Tale is about a woman who we know as Offred. When a religious extremist group takes over what was once the United States of America, all rights are stripped from females and some must find their new place in the world as handmaidens: women designated to carry the children of important political figures.
The whole concept still fascinates and terrifies me. Especially since the new TV adaptation of the book is gaining popularity and more people are able to see the parallels between Margaret Atwood’s world and our own.
The writing in The Handmaid’s Tale is strong, evocative and engaging. The story is something that will probably dwell in your memories for years to come. With its increased popularity, more people are talking about this book so I was glad to find I wasn’t the only one haunted by it.
I can’t say too much more about the story without giving away important plot points, because a lot of the wonder comes from piecing things together and finding out everything for yourself.
If you see this book, pick it up. Read it. And see why it’s still one of my favourite stories of all time.