Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Set in a near-future US, now a theocratic totalitarian state called Gilead, The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of a young woman named Offred whose sole purpose is to bear children for the infertile upper classes. Essentially a slave, she is forbidden to read or express her own thoughts. An instant classic when first published in 1986, Atwood's novel is still fresh and disturbingly prophetic given the current political climate. What makes it so good, and why it will stay with you long after you've finished, is that it is so terrifyingly realistic, offering a vision of a misogynistic dystopian future where women have no say over their own bodies. Everyone should read this book and take note of just how quickly people can become indoctrinated into a crazy system.
Recommended Réiltín Joyce, Dubray Galway