The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood…strange and scary book. Mostly because I can see something like this coming closer and closer to reality and not just fiction.
The premise of the book is that the population rate in the US has drastically dropped due to a number of reasons and an extremist Christian sect has taken over the government. Women are to blame for most of the ills of the world including infertility, rape and all other sexual crimes. Using the stories of Rachael & Leah, Martha & several others in the Bible, women are divided into subgroups for service to society.
Older non-child bearing women can be “Marthas” who take on the role of maid & housekeeper. Women proven their fertility, but who are not married or have been divorced or remarried are turned into “handmaids”their duty is to become pregnant and bear children to the upper levels of the new society. There are the “Wives” of course, usually older and unable to bear children, but deemed Godly wives.
Women who don’t fit into one of these groups or cause problems are deemed “Un-women” and are sent off the colonies where they have a very short life expectancy.
Written as a first person account, almost as a memoir the story of the Handmaid Offred(Of-Fred) brings you back and forth between life current life and her remembrances of how she got to this place.
Troubling, disturbing and even horrifying, but I would almost put this as a must-read book!! I have to admit I don’t know if I would have made it through this book if it hadn’t been an audiobook! I stumbled across the audible version read by Claire Danes, and listening at 1.5x speed I was able to get through it.