No offense to the other books I have read recently, but THIS. THIS. THIS lived up to every bit of hype surrounding the book/series. I have not seen the series yet, because I do not have access to a Hulu account at the moment. I haven’t devoured a novel like this in a long time. I really cannot emphasize how much I enjoyed the writing. I think I have an aversion to period pieces (but that’s about to change because Gina sent me “Little Women” to read next). This had the feel of a period piece, but the flashes back of “former times” when former times is referring to the contemporary, roots this in a way that makes me feel more sympathetic to the women. And totally horrified at the same time. Thinking about my political ideologies, I’d like to think I would be part of the underground resistance…but being 35 (and also my extreme phobia of pregnancy) I probably wouldn’t make a good Handmaiden. I’d probably be a Martha…though unless I missed it, they didn’t quite explain how one is chosen to be a Martha.
It’s amazing how they tried to justify this enslaving of women as if they would be better off under these VERY rigid gender roles. Unable to speak, read, leave the house unattended, no financial resources or independence whatsoever. If a wife, forced to watch your husband repeatedly try to impregnate an assigned Handmaiden. If a Handmaiden, forced to be a vessel for children, just laying there as the Commander rapes you repeatedly. They don’t call it rape in the book. There is actually a part where they attempt to explain that it isn’t quite like rape…because of a very very frail theory that there was a “choice” to become a Handmaiden. But as far as the options for this “choice” are concerned, it’s more of being backed in a corner of survival. Not choice.
If you have read the book or have seen the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. I rushed through the first half of the book, but then had to put it down for a week to take care of some career obligations (to which I am thrilled to share here). Then yesterday I took the day to rest and read saving the last 20 or so pages for this morning.
Sexuality: Documents of Contemporary Art, Edited By Amelia Jones: 170 pages read
A Working Theory of Love, By Scott Hutchins: 325 pages
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, By Neil deGrasse Tyson: 3h, 41m equal to 244 pages (according to Amazon)
Trans*, By Jack Halberstam: 3 chapters, 80 pages
The Handmaid’s Tale, By Margaret Atwood: 309 pages
Running Tally of Pages: 1,128