The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

Book cover

A lot has been written about this book recently and there is probably not much for me to add. Like others, I found it to hold up extremely well to the test of time, though I wouldn’t oversell any precise parallels to our current situation. The story of how the world came to be as it is in the book is quite credible. I read in an article (the New Yorker maybe?) that Atwood intentionally drew details only from things that had actually historically happened in America in some context (during the Salem witch trials or Jim Crow, for example), which I think really shines through in the believability.

The prose is beautifully understated and introduces quite a bit of tension and emotion from a very limited number of actual events. I have not seen the Hulu series yet but am looking forward to it; Elisabeth Moss was wonderful in the similarly understated “Mad Men” and I expect will also shine in the role of Offred.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars