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Islamic Extremists. Shootings. Bombings. Credit Cards. These are the things of Offred’s past. These are the things Offred remembers. She lives now, as a handmaid, for the Commander and Serena Joy. Offred is a vessel–her only job is to conceive a child and keep living life along the guidelines she was taught in her re-education classes.

Offred remembers a time before she wore the red habit, before the rhythm of the whole home depended on her fertile times. Offred had a life, a child, a lover/husband…best friends and a mother who was known for being a woman’s rights activist.

Offred held a job until the day the banks froze accounts belonging to woemn, the same day that the Constitution was ‘susepended.’ Women are now to be dependent on men, it is an edict…and then there is a new order to things. In this new order, there is safety. There are less bombings. There is less to fear.

Offred is one of the lucky ones, and she knows it. Despite her age, she is deemed fertile. She is not, as some havge been, shipped off to the colonies and deemed an unwoman. That is the worst that could happen, apart from not conceiving a baby with the man of the house, acting as a surrogate for the lady of the house.

There is a lot of ceremony in Gilead, where the story takes place. There are a lot of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s. There is shopping, always done by two handmaids in the company of one another. There is Salvaging–the act of hanging criminals for their wrongdoings for things like perversion or gender treachery (being gay).

There is also an underground female movement called the Femaleroad, where women are helped and taken to other, more sympathetic countries.

After the abrupt end of the novel is an afterward which is dated 2195. It is here where a few details are fleshed out. The Handmaid’s Tale apparently consisted of multiple cassette tapes, with voice recording. It is here we find out the city of Gilead was really Bangor, Maine. Also, the Handmaid’s account may have some holes, particularly where the commander and his wife are
concerned.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’ve read it before, but it was calling to me because of my recent interest in social dystopian novels. Margaret Atwood masterfully melds story, character and societal commentary into one enjoyable novel. There were a lot of things leading to the Cleansing that are in the media now–it definitely made me a bit nervous. The idea that it could happen is sobering.

I received a copy of this book electronically, using my Nook’s LendMe feature and the site http://bookfriend.me/

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
286 pages; Houghton Mifflin
Hardcover: 1986;

Found a site called ‘My Love Affair with Books’ and I decided I wanted to take advantage of this challenge–just to READ some books that are on my wishlist. I’m thinking of Addicted Level, but will add the list soon!

My Love Affair With Books

This challenge is for all those books you wish you’d read. I think I have a list of more than 200 books I want to read and it increases everyday! I am sure I am not alone , in this case…
These don’t have to be books you currently own, you can buy them, borrow them or beg for them. This is a great challenge for getting those TBR piles reduced. So go have a look at what you might read and challenge yourself.
Challenge Guidelines:
*You can join anytime between now and Dec 31st 2011*1. Anyone can join. You don’t need a blog to participate.
–Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.Non-Bloggers can post their review on sites like Goodreads, Librarything, Shelfari etc

2. There are four levels:

— Curious – Read 3 books.

— Fascinated – Read 6 books.

— Addicted – Read 12 books.

— Obsessed – Read 20 books.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2011.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to the post about the Wish I’d Read That Challenge. Include the URL so that other participants can find join in and read your reviews and post.

7. All the participants must leave their email in the comments section and mention if you want to be reminded when the linky for reviews is put up.

8. There will be one Linky which will be put for the challenge on January 1st 2011. All the reviews throughout the year must be linked on the linky.

9. Finally, there are prizes! YES! There were will be TWO randomly selected participants who will win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. The 1st winner will be chosen at the end of 6 months , on 1st July and the 2nd winner will be chosen at the end of the year 2011.

I also heard about one other challenge at Book Chick City, it’s for mystery and suspense novels… I love reading mystery books (as you can no doubt tell from my review lists, so this should be pretty easy.

Challenge Details
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 – 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster – you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.

I heard about the Stephen King Challenge going on at Book Chick City, so I decided to sign up for the challenge–I can read at least 6 Stephen King books in 2011… Here are the details if you want to sign up!

Challenge Details
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 – 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules – There are two levels: Read either SIX (6) or TWELVE (12) Stephen King novels in 2011 (6 is the minimum but you can read more than 12 if you wish!)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • At the beginning of Jan 2011, I will add a link so you can add your reviews.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to join in – for those without a blog just FILL IN THIS FORM and I will add you to the list – just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you’ve read a book and what you thought of it! 🙂


I heard about this challenge, and I decided to go ahead and take part in it. I don’t have a list yet, but it’s about two books a month, which is doable. For details, or to sign up, check out this link.

  • Challenge Details
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 – 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules: To read TWENTY FOUR (24) horror & urban fantasy novels in 2011 (24 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to add your reviews.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to join in – for those without a blog just FILL IN THIS FORM and I will add you to the list – just join the discussion in the comments section to let us know when you’ve read a book and what you thought of it! 🙂

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