Reading Level: Adult
Length: 11 hours (330 pages)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Release Date: July 20, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“After a staged terrorist attack kills the President and most of Congress, the government is deposed and taken over by the oppressive and all controlling Republic of Gilead. Offred, now a Handmaid serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules in hopes of ending this oppression.”
I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for quite awhile. I ended up enjoying it. The way things are revealed throughout is cleverly done. I also enjoyed the somewhat wandering story style that reflected the sheer boredom of Offred’s life.
I listened to this on audiobook. Claire Danes did a fantastic job narrating this book and I would definitely recommend listening to on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks.
This is one of those books that you don’t want to talk a lot about because a big part of the story is the slow reveal of the world, the past, and what’s happening presently. Offred bounces back and forth between her “old life” as a normal wife and mother, her current life as a Handmaid, and her near past life where she was in training to become a Handmaid. This makes the story a bit wandering but it fits with Offred’s struggle with complete boredom, which is even more challenging for her to deal with than some of the atrocities she undergoes.
The whole book is an interesting look at how such a far fetched and oppressive type of society can form and stay in power. It also discusses human rights and the ability of people to adapt to almost any situation to survive.
I would recommend for adult and older; there are some explicit sex scenes (although these aren’t described in a ton of detail) and torture (both emotional and physical) in here. I was impressed at how well this book stands the test of time. The writing style is very unique and beautiful if a bit ambiguous and wandering at times. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more closure at the end. However I did enjoy the ending which is done from a different POV.
Overall this was a unique and interesting read which I enjoyed. It’s an interesting look at the rise of a dystopian society and how deeply the residents of that society are affected. I would recommend to those interested in dystopian books and women’s rights. While I probably won’t read this again, I am glad that I read it.