(R)eading From the Best Sellers List [The Handmaid’s Tale]

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is currently sitting pretty at #15 on the NY Times Bestseller list. I might be the only person on the planet, but I just didn’t fall in love with this book.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.

I need my books to have a story – a plot … To start somewhere, and end up somewhere else, with things happening in between the beginning and the end. That’s what I think this book lacks. A+ for writing style and premise, as well as world building. But it lacks a dramatic story – and it easily could have one – I was left counting the pages until the end.

If you liked The Handmaids Tale then I think you’ll also like …

Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler

This sequel to Parable of the Sower continues the story of Lauren Olamina in socially and economically depressed California in the 2030s. Convinced that her community should colonize the stars, Lauren and her followers make preparations. But the collapse of society and rise of fanatics result in Lauren’s followers being enslaved, and her daughter stolen from her. Now, Lauren must fight back to save the new world order.

Have you read either of these books above? What did you think?

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)


// Comments //

  1. I just read The Handmaid’s Tale for the first time this spring. I enjoyed it very much – if you can say you “enjoyed” something so disturbing! I would love to see the TV adaptation which won so many awards last night, but we don’t get Hulu 🙁

    I MUST read an Octavia Spencer novel – haven;t yet! Definitely on my Christmas list…


    Book By Book

  2. I don’t know that I disliked this as much as you did and I don’t know that I’d say it had no plot, but the ending was disappointing to me and I definitely didn’t love it as much as most people seem to. I found it a letdown compared to all the hype.

  3. nylse

    Aug 23

    I too did not like the Handmaid’s Tale and I agree with your assessment. It’s one of the few books I regret reading as I was left so angry that I wasted so much time reading this book.

  4. Nish

    Aug 23

    I loved The Handmaid’s Tale. I am not sure I’d agree with you about there being no plot. I thought it was a pretty strong story. Yes, a lot is left unexplained, but I did like that ambiguity. It’s one of my all-time favorites.