Once upon a time there were two bookworms who wanted to read Classics. But they were afraid, a little intimidated and needed encouragement. So they joined forces and formed the Dust off your Classics challenge to support each other. Dee from Dee Read’s and myself read our way through some good classics, some great classics and found so much in these books that is surprisingly still relevant. So much so that I want to continue reading them and will continue to share my thoughts here on any I get through.
This time around I’m dusting off a dystopia book that I’ve been meaning to read for years and giving you five reasons why you might considering dusting it off too. And I know it’s not old, old but I do still consider it a classic as it has set the standard for so many dystopia books and it’s one of those cult books that I had never read.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Published by McClelland & Stewart Limited on March 16th 1985
Genres: Classic, Dystopia, Emotions & Feelings
Narrator: Claire Danes
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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 valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years 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...
Five Classic Reasons to dust off and read The Handmaiden’s Tale :
1. It is a book that every woman should read. It makes you reflect on fertility and freedom and just what it means to be a woman. It’s sombre and sinister and gave me all the chills. The rights denied to women in this society make you appreciate all the more just how much we take for granted and make me want to celebrate all the lack of restrictions in my life.
“There is no such thing as a sterile man anymore, not officially. There are only women who are fruitful and women who are barren, that’s the law”
2. So many of today’s YA dystopia books are mirrored on The Handmaiden’s Tale and reading the mama of all these books is inspiring and thought-provoking. So if you enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill or Delirium by Lauren Oliver, then try this one.
3. The language is stunning. It’s metaphor heaven! From beginning to end, it is full of vivid comparisons and Margaret Atwood left me reeling with how blunt and stark her imagery was at times.
4. The non linear format kept me riveted. It jumped around a lot and kept my attention firmly. And I found myself listening keenly to decipher just what was true and what was just hopeful imaginings. The narrator is unreliable as she frequently admits:
“But that’s not how it really happened”
5. The narration by Clare Danes is the best narration I’ve ever heard. She IS Offred and her depiction of all the emotions made this a much more powerful and lively read than if I had read it myself.
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read The Handmaidens’s Tale by Margaret Atwood?
Well you! If you three or more or my reasons above resonate with you!