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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood -- A book review

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is based on trying to answer a simple question. What would happen if you suddenly overturned every single triumph of the feminist movement and went back a hundred years or a five hundred years. I bought this book based on the recommendation of a youtube channel called "Books on Toast" ( Do subscribe to this channel if you're a book lover by the way!) And, it is definitely a very intriguing read. The story is exactly as described in its synopsis. A world where women are not allowed to read, work or be anything of their choice. A world where they are the properties of powerful men, where they are viewed only as baby making machines and protected only as long as they are fertile.

The premise is definitely interesting. The story is pretty fast paced and keeps you hooked till the end. The scenes and events of the story are told in such a way that you feel with the character as you go along. The events involving the commander is so awkward that you can literally feel it. Another point that is very clever but which I didn't get until almost the very end is the way the handmaids are named. All their names start with "Of", such as Ofglen or Offred. This I found very weird in the beginning. But later on I realized how clever this was, especially when considering that the real names of some characters were never even mentioned.

I guess the whole point here was to take an injustice to its extreme end and see how the story pans out. It was interesting, but after a point, the complete absence of decent men in the story bothered me. Another point that bothered me was the end. I don't like stories where the author is lazy in picking a side and leaves the interpretation of the end to the readers. C'mon! At least commit to a side. Let us readers then decide if we liked it or not. This way, the author is just sitting on the fence. And, I hate it when a story ends that way. It still is a good read.


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