Margaret Atwood is coming to Green Bay for the Untitledtown Book and Author Festival (and I got tickets!), so I had to revisit The Handmaid's Tale. Frankly, I found it more chilling in our political climate today than when I first read it, and there was a LOT I didn't remember. In this dystopian (?) novel, the government has been overthrown, and a completely patriarchal ruling class has taken over the country, wresting all power from the women in the country and resigning them to the roles of either completely subservient wives, prostitutes, or handmaids, whose sole purpose is the procreation of the next generation. The idea for the handmaid (and all of the male-imposed rules that accompany the role) comes from Genesis, and the tale of Rachel and Leah, whose handmaids were impregnated by their husband Jacob when they were no longer able to bear children. The story takes the form of a journal written by Offred, a handmaid in the house of Fred. Offred frequently reminisces about her former life with her husband and daughter, even as she navigates her new life as a handmaid. Even in that completely structured social role, Offred finds that the rules can be bent or broken completely, if you're with the right person. Just when it seems like Offred has jeopardized her position and possibly her life, the book takes one last major turn, and ends with the reader asking for more. A story that once seemed impossible no longer feels so absurd.