Friday, February 5, 2016
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is unlike anything I've ever read (heard.) The Claire Danes narrated audiobook can best be described as a dystopian futuristic warning wrapped in poetry and imagery. It is a beautifully dark told story from the point of view of a woman set in this future who has memory of the world before and after its dramatic change. Told in a train of thought narrative, she reveals through her own experience how women all over the US were swept up in Puritan Regime under the guise of making them safer and protecting them from inherent faults of men. Suddenly, women who once were educated, employed, and with hopes and goals were gathered together and "re-educated" into new traditional roles of wife and caretakers. But in this world, the roles of wife, homemaker, and childbearer have become separated, especially among the richer, more prominent men as a result of a rising rate of infertility and stillbirths due to the chemicals and pollutants from the world before. Not allowed to read, write, or even to speak freely, those women forced to wear red, The Handmaids, are now valued for little more than their bodies.Their sole purpose is to produce children for the families of the Commanders. The narrator draws the reader (listener) into the story immediately and the suspense only builds from there. The most frightening part of it all is that it is told so well, that you can almost believe it to be a true possible future. Thanks to this audiobook, I could not wait for my commute to and from work each day.