Handmaid's Tale

The first book I've read in 2017 is "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. It's a work of speculative fiction set in the Republic of Gilead, a dystopic totalitarian theocracy which has taken control of a United States beset with environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate.

Society has been restructured according to fanatical puritanical values, and the remaining fertile women have become "Handmaids", a position of servitude to their Commanders and under the watch of the Wives and Marthas in a militarized barracks. It was published originally in 1985 but carries a weight just as relevant today.

It's currently in the best-selling books section on Amazon. Not sure if this has more to do with the Trump presidency or the show set to debut on Hulu later this year. Either way, it's a remarkable book, eerie and provoking, strong characters, chilling predicaments and well worth the read.

I found the storytelling mechanic reminded me of Oryx and Crake (another dystopic Atwood fiction, 2003) in which the fictional world is revealed throughout the narrative of the protagonist.