Hello! You may be wondering why the title of this post is 2017 Book Challenge, but it’s Feb. 17, 2019. Gosh I can’t believe it’s been that long since Fallon and I were doing our first book challenge. Well, as you can tell, we let our original book challenge fall by the wayside (I more than Fallon). In fact, I know I read a book by an author I’d never read before in 2017, but who that was and what book it was, I don’t remember! But, since Fallon did her part, I wanted to make sure to post it. I also to announce we are trying again. We have a new Book Challenge we will do in 2019. Our first category will be a Children’s Book We Never Read. You can guess that Fallon’s already read her book and I have yet to read mine, but we will complete the challenge!! There’s only 10 challenges for 2019, and here’s a sneak peek, two of them are audiobook challenges. So stay tuned…
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A dystopian novel written before dystopian novels were “a thing”, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the present date nation of Gilead. There, a woman’s sole purpose is to reproduce, and we meet Offred (once a Boston resident known by another name). Offred is a handmaid assigned to a high-ranking Gilead officer’s home to hopefully give the Commander and his wife a child. If she fails, she may be shipped to the colonies where the life expectancy is not so great.
It seems like I was the only person not assigned The Handmaid’s Tale as a required reading in college. How did my liberal arts education fail me? I never took a specific course on gender studies, but come on! I actually became aware of the novel after some podcasters were talking about the show and comparing to its source material (thank you The Broadcast). Like the television show, the novel is a slow burn, in so much that not a lot happens. The style makes you want to keep reading however, if only to find out more about either what happened that led to the creation of Gilead or what will happen. I credit Atwood with the realism of the story (and the epilogue is classic, very meta) in so much that you don’t get all the answers and everything is not tied up in a nice bow. I would have liked Offred to have had a mic drop moment before the ending though. This book is made for reading group discussions.