I’m having mixed emotions…
We follow the story of a woman named Offred. She is a Handmaid in the newly established Republic of Gilead. It’s set in I would say the not too distant future, where a declining birth rate has forced a coup of the American government and Gilead was formed. Handmaids are assigned to a Commander and their sole purpose is to once a month have a special ‘ceremony’ with the commander and his wife and have their baby for them.
If I had not seen TV show first I think I would have been very confused by this book. There isn’t quite a set structure to it. We read solely from Offred’s point of view however, it jumps quite a lot from past to present and their isn’t a whole lot of information given about what is happening.
I love Offred’s commentary though. I found her to be very antagonistic without trying to be if that makes sense. She does her due diligence and she doesn’t complain outright to anyone but from her tone and the way she expresses herself you can tell that she yearns for her old life.
I was left feeling quite unfulfilled with this book. The ending was quite abrupt and didn’t really wrap anything up or answered any questions. In a way I guess it maintains the narrative that in this world you don’t get any answers and you just have to kind of accept that this is how life is now.
I think what I didn’t really enjoy about the book was that everything happened too quickly. They moved from scene to scene and didn’t really delve too deep into the world. Had the book had maybe another 100 pages or so I think I may have been able to form more of a connection to the characters and been more settled in the plot.
The foundations are there but I feel like so much more could have been done with this premise. It was a little too bleak for me personally and there wasn’t enough action or intrigue to keep me invested enough.
⭐️3/5 Premise was interesting and unique, the book wasn’t.