I have finished reading it.
I read it whenever I could find a minute, not stopping even once. I read it at the shop and was asked what I am reading. Visitors said: oh yes, that book. Or they said: what’s it about? Or they have heard of it, know of it, mean to read it, want to get a copy, know someone who has read it, have seen the television series, don’t want to read it, they do not like books about oppressive and brutal regimes etc, etc.
And it is a brutal regime, a totalitarian society called Gilead, set a part of the old United States and one that treats women as property. No nice things happen. I was advised by one customer that everyone should read this. It was first published in 1985 and I read that Margaret Atwood is as deeply concerned with oppressive regimes as she is with the widely held attitude that they won’t happen here. And though it was written a while ago and is about a time far into the future, it is about each one of us, about the small and normal things we scratch around doing to live our lives and would keep on doing if we were to enter a new life that we could not survive. I was asked if it had a happy ending but I think that Margaret Atwood is too sublime a writer to need the happy endings. Life is rarely about these. It does seem so very important to read these books.
I have no copies of this book in my shop and I cannot part with mine.