The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is not a tale for the faint of heart. It’s a dystopian novel set in a futuristic United States which has been overthrown by a totalitarian Christian society. The handmaids are women who are basically used as fertility machines to furnish rich officers and their wives with children.
I decided to read this novel because of the reviews I had seen online naming it one of the best novels of our generation. My interest was piqued and without having heard anything else about the novel, I decided to borrow it from the library.
WOW. It was not what I was expecting at all. The story follows Offred [Of-Fred], a handmaid who is staying with Commander Fred and must produce an heir for the high ranking official and his wife. No romance, no speaking, her only allowed contact with Fred is a ceremony in which his wife holds her hands while Fred takes advantage of Offred’s body. It’s disturbing and frustrating and scary.
That being said, I could NOT STOP READING THIS BOOK. I was entrapped and trying to understand this new world with it’s strange rituals and attempts to reverse the population decrease. It’s scary to ponder what could cause such a cold and unfeeling world to be created. I enjoyed the novel, if only for it’s shocking quality. 3.5 stars!
-Growing my underarm hair in preparation for my pre-wedding waxing appt. Uuuuuuugh!
-Doing manual labor at work while I wait for the tech writing work to vamp up.
-Had a great time at Katie’s baby shower for my nephew Blake!!
-Final wedding dress fitting!!! It’s perfect!! Can’t wait for Mitch to see me in this dress!!
-My own wedding shower a week from this Saturday!
A Thousand Splendid Suns is my second foray into Khaled Hosseini‘s writing. After finished all three of his novels, I have to say that A Thousand Splendid Suns is, by far, my favorite of his works.
The story follows the lives of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women who end up in a polygamist relationship with a man named Rasheed. The novel is split into four parts: Miriam’s childhood and early marriage to Rasheed, Laila’s privileged childhood, the relationship that forms between the two women, and Laila’s life after her marriage to Rasheed.
It’s mostly the story of an unusual mother/daughter relationship and the place of Afghan women in their culture. It’s such an empowering and yet, disturbing, story. The women of Afghanistan are often portrayed as demure and subservient, but Khaled Hosseini paints an entirely new portrait of them as fighters with extreme inner strength.
I loved this novel. I loved the women most of all. They were real and their stories were powerful and meaningful. It makes me wonder how many Afghan women are suffering through lives of quiet desperation. Very powerful work, five stars from this blogger!