|The Handmaid’s Tale|
The Handmaid’s Tale delves into the oppressed world of Offred. Her life’s purposes as a Handmaid are to pick up groceries, keep herself healthy, and once a month try to get pregnant with the Commander. Anything else could get her killed.
So Offred doesn’t do anything else…for the whole…entire…book.
The Handmaid’s Tail isn’t a story about how Offred grew and changed. It’s a story of how the world she lived in changed. That’s what was so off-putting for me. I prefer character driven stories, and The Handmaid’s Tale serves as more of a political/religious critique.
I kept waiting for Offred to do something to challenge society, to rise up and find a way out. She’s given several opportunities and I rooted for her to take them, but Offred does what she is told and little more.
She remembers her life before Handmaids existed, a life when she was allowed to read, wear makeup, and dream of a future with her now missing husband and daughter. These flashbacks of “life before” break the story flow. Because Offred is such a passive character, she spends a lot of time thinking about the past. The frequent jumps from far past, to present, to recent past muddle the timeline of events and make the story drag.
If you are interested in fictional reflections about government/religion, then you might enjoy The Handmaid’s Tale. It wasn’t the book I expected, so I was disappointed.
This is one of the first audio books I’ve listened to while I was working. Not going to lie, it’s really hard to pay attention to an audio book while you’re writing emails. I had to rewind so many times because I tuned out the book!