The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a modern dystopian classic and a cautionary tale. It is insanely depressing to read because we are simply a pandemic or natural disaster away from something like this potentially happening. The fundamentalist religious right already has so much power, if our country were to splinter, civil war could erupt allowing pockets of this kind of evil to proliferate.
This book is about cultism on a grand scale imposing itself on a helpless populace before it could organize itself. So, while I loved this book for its attention to detail, for its bravery and insight, I also found it so difficult to read because there is not a moment of brightness in the protagonist's life. It is unrelievedly wretched, and rightly so.
Atwood's prose is starkly poetic and mesmerizing, only sometimes verging on purple prose. Claire Danes' performance on the audio book is spot on: perfection in every way. I highly recommend her dramatic reading. This should be required reading. I should not have taken so long to pick it up.
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Jennifer Foehner Wells
I'm an author of the Space Opera variety.