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The Handmaid's Tale

I read The Handmaid’s Tale when I was twenty and was blown away. No other book has stuck in my mind as vividly. There have been many times when Offred has popped into my head and I found myself wondering what happened. Even though I’ve read it several times, when I picked it up last week I was amazed at how fresh is still seems. For those who don’t know the plot; Offred is a Handmaid in a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed is in the home of an elite couple where her sole purpose is to breed. If she refuses, or fails to produce a healthy baby, she will be executed. What keeps Offred going in this terrifying situation are the thoughts of her former life; her husband and young child. A life she is desperate to return to. The Handmaid’s Tale packs a hefty punch, it is dark and disturbing and so relevant. You have to remember this book was written in the 1980s. The plot is so prescient it is actually quite eerie. It’s hard to believe that thirty years ago Margaret Atwood created this world and tackled issues such as religious fundamentalists, environmental issues (in one scene Offred remembers her draw stuffed full of plastic carrier bags) and of course women’s reproductive rights. All of which we can turn on the news today and hear about! To me The Handmaid’s Tale is an absolute masterpiece, if you haven’t read it yet I really would urge you to. Yes the TV series is brilliant, but believe me the book is better. I cannot wait to read The Testaments. I’ve been going over it a lot in mind trying to work out what it will be like but the good news we now only have nineteen days to wait! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book and it’s long-awaited sequel. Will you be reading The Testaments?

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