It took me about a month to finish this novel, not because this book is bad or a chore to read, but because I listened to the audiobook and I tend to fall asleep while listening to an audiobook. So I had to find some fully-awake sparetime to finish this novel, which I ultimately did. And it was totally worth it.
This is the story of Offred, a handmaid in Gilead, a totalitarian state, in which all the women are stripped of any rights. They are not allowed to work, to read, to live a life of their own and those women, who have the right age and are not properly married are only allowed to become one thing: handmaids, women kept for one purpose alone, to breed children.
Margaret Atwood has written a dystopian novel with a topic that still has its relevance today. There are still countries where women are not allowed to do anything or to make decisions of any kind and it isn´t so hard to believe that everything Margaret Atwood depicts in her novel could come to pass. Yes, I have to admit, this book scared me a lot simply because the whole setting felt so realistic.
The story is told by Offred herself and she constantly jumps between her life in the present day and her life in the past, when she was happily married and with a child of her own, and her time in the education center for handmaids. These sudden jumps in Offreds narrative are sometimes hard to follow while listening to it, because I never could be completely sure if she is telling the truth or not. But I have felt a lot of sympathies for her and there are some gutwrenching passages throughout the story that I´m not going to forget that easily.
As for the audiobook itself, I really enjoyed the way that Joanna David has narrated the story. As I have said before, she has a soothing quality to her voice and she has found the right voice for Offred and her emotions. I´m planning on doing a reread of this novel in its written form, but I´m actually glad that I choose to listen to it first.
Either way, this is an exceptional book and I´m planning on reading more novels by Margaret Atwood in the future.