I don’t know how I made it through 4 years of high school and advanced literature courses in college without ever reading The Handmaid’s Tale. However, the upcoming Hulu show and the shadow of gloom that sits over our nation since November 8th, 2016 seems to have brought the book into the public eye.
When I opened The Handmaid’s Tale on my kindle, I didn’t know what to expect, but I consumed it entirely in one evening while sitting around the campfire with my husband in early April. It was more than I was anticipating.
This is one of those stories that you can’t explain too much without ruining it. But in short, this is a book about a future timeline of our world, where a dictatorial society controls every aspect of a person’s life.
Many reviews of this story focus on the misogyny and hatred of women in this culture, the dangers in ignoring science, the damages of patriarchal relgion….and on, and on.
You can read those reviews and they are certainly valid and valuable-but I know that for many, we are experiencing so much of that in our real daily lives these days that it is hard to read about it in a work of fiction.
And it is-this book is a hard read. The content is terrifying and harmful and complex. But you should read it.
You should read this book for the reasons people overlook it. You should read this book because one of the most important parts of this book is the study of the value of women’s relationships-how women working together can accomplish great things, and how when women abandon each other, we will all be lost.