June 25, 2023
I have to be honest, I would have probably finished the book a couple weeks ago if I hadn’t gotten sick. It’s a good book, but nothing like the tv series. Not really, anyway.
From the author of Alias Grace and the Maddaddam trilogy:
here is the #1 New York Times bestseller and seminal work of speculative fiction,
now an Emmy Award-winning Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, and Joseph Fiennes. Includes a new introduction by the author.
Offred (spoken of Fred) 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 days 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…. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.
First published: January 1, 1985
Setting: Republic of Gilead (, 2005), The United States of America, Bangor, Maine (United States)
Characters: (book)The Commander, Offred, Serena Joy, Ofglen, Moira, Aunt Lydia, Nick; (tv series): Janine, Luke, plus more
I was kind of disappointed with the book.
The book is much simpler than the tv series, which is odd – in my opinion. Most of the time, I have found the book to be much better than the movie or tv series. The fact that the book solely centers around June (which is the name given to her in the tv series), her thoughts, interactions, and whatnot probably has something to do with it. Also, that it’s a short story, relatively speaking, probably has something to do with it as well.
The story leaves the reader hanging, which I really don’t like. I mean, the author has to end the story at some point, but the story could have gone just a little bit longer – in my opinion. In the last chapter, she is “grabbed” by the eyes – which are a type of law enforcement, she walks out the door…and that’s it. She thought Serena Joy, the Commanders wife, had turned her in for breaking the law, but that wasn’t the case. We don’t know what happens next.
The “Historical Notes” that I believe I had mentioned before (in a previous post), is actually part of the story and details researchers discussing diaries and tapes that were found 150 years later.
I don’t think it helps any that I had watched the tv series before reading the book, but I usually don’t have issues with that, especially when I allow some time to lapse before reading the book or watching the movie/tv series. If I hadn’t known what I know about the story, I probably wouldn’t have been as disappointed.
I will be reading The Testaments next.
Despite my disappointment in the first book, I do want to see what happens next, and get the book read before the series starts up again.
hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!