Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the scariest book I've read in years. I can't remember the last time a book so thoroughly creeped me out but still made me love every second of it. I was kinda over dystopian novels but when assigned my Book Buddy for the month we both had had this one sitting on our shelves for a while. So I jumped into it. She's taking her time with it which I can totally understand, but once I figured out what was going on I just had to get away from it.

Imagine a future where women have all their rights taken away. Where they are no longer allowed to work, no longer allowed to own money, property, even their own kids. A large number of men and women seem to have become infertile and the fertile few are taken and given to high ranking married couples that need children. Veiled by extreme religious officials as what God wanted, women here for procreation, cooking, cleaning, or marrying. These are the only roles they have! Or I guess raising up the ones to be procreators.

The story was some what scattered and told in bits and pieces that make it really suspenseful. You never really know what's going to come next. At the end you get kinda the "historian's perspective" hundreds of years later with people criticizing the authenticity of the "tale" as a woman's confession when she escapes the world. But you don't ever really know what happens to her, which is frustrating but at the same time the way I wanted the book to end.

The most terrifying thing is you can imagine this happening. You can imagine one day are our rights slowly disintegrate this happening to different groups of people. We don't get a lot of back story on what lead up to this, or the period right before the period that lead to this. But what happened the day of the takeover we get and it's horrifying.

I had a very strong reaction to this book that I wasn't expecting. It gave me nightmares. I can't imagine a world that I wouldn't be allowed to work- or maybe the problem is I can see it too easily. If I couldn't work what would I be? For god's sake if I couldn't read what would I bed?

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Story.

Today at work I had the opportunity to take 10 minutes out of our staff meeting and talk a little bit about who I am and why I am the way I am.  Too many ams.  I told Haley about a week ago that I was doing this and she was like "oh how are you going to do that?" I said I'd probably talk about adoption because I thought that'd be easier than talking about how music defines me, or why I love student affairs, or about my college roommate dying, or about how I'm divorced.  Adoption is easier, I talk about it all the time.  She didn't think I could keep it under 10 minutes, but I think I did okay.  But it was harder than I thought.

Being adopted isn't something that happened to me.  It's just who I am.  I've never blamed any of my problems on being adopted and I've always acknowledged how lucky I am that I get to be adopted and get to have a ton of people in my life who love me and I get to love right back.

So I went into it just creating a simple powerpoint of pictures of everyone.  Mama, dad, Deirdre, Bridget and Hail.  My stepbrothers and stepsister were in there, as well as Willy, Grace and Jonah.  Not wanting to get too much into Haley story I did include a picture of her Zack and Scott and briefly introduced them.

But I didn't really think about the presentation of it too much before hand because I talk about adoption all the time, it's a normal part of conversations to me.  "Oh my birthfamily this, my birthmom does this and mom does this" It's just normal for me so I was very shocked when explaining my family or my story I got a little teary eyed about it.

I can't really remember everything I said, but I hope I got across how lucky I feel that I'm adopted and how important it is in defining me, and if I didn't get that across then hopefully I at least got across that love and family are the most important things in my world.  That the more people in your life that you can love and that love you back the better.