2016 Reading List #28: The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

I’ve just realized I’ve been a bit neglectful in my blogging habits—the last time I posted a  book review was for Voyager, the 24th book I’ve read in 2016, though yesterday I finished reading my 32nd book of the year. Time to catch up, I suppose.

Here’s my quick and dirty version of filling in the blanks, though I’m not writing a review of every book I’ve read. Sometimes I have a hard time articulating my thoughts or feel like I don’t have anything blog-worthy to say, so that’s where the gaps come from (to see my full reading list for the year, you can always look at the 2016 Reading List on my blog).

My reading of The Handmaid’s Tale was kind of a product of my feeling like I’ve missed out on some of the essential books of being an English student. I know this is Atwood’s best-known work and a staple of women’s literature, so I decided to pick it up and run with it.

The Handmaid’s Tale fits perfectly with other famous dystopian novels like 1984—we enter a world where women are seen strictly as childbearing devices and little more. Atwood’s narration through the perspective of one such woman is what makes the novel compelling; our heroine remembers what life used to be and longs for a return to her family.

Apart from feeling like this was just one of those novels a person must know in the pursuit of being well read, I was also compelled by the upcoming Hulu adaptation of the novel starring Elisabeth Moss. As this is a novel that is largely told internally through thought, I’m interested in seeing it take visual form.

Though I wouldn’t call The Handmaid’s Tale one of my favorite novels, I certainly respect it and clearly see how it earned its place in the literary canon.


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