Author: Margaret Atwood
Honestly, when I started reading the book my first impression was: what a bore! It takes quite some time to build up your tempo and if you've the patience to do that then you can reach the end of the novel with much ease. Slowly and gradually it does get you engrossed in it. My overall opinion of the novel: it's good, not great.
The story is set in a future time; a barbaric time where the women are treated as objects of reproduction and those who are not capable of performing that function are banished to "colonies", common people do not have access to any kind of media, a small mistake results into a gross punishment, so on and so forth. It centers around a woman living in such a background. How people have their own ways of fulfilling their desires in the midst of restrictions.
Having read quite a few novels based on the oppressions on the women in certain parts of the world, it didn't seem to me to be a totally novel plot. To me it appeared to be more of an extension of the above. Maybe at the time when the novel was written the storyline must've been very original; but in today's age it doesn't appear so. It ceases to remain futuristic; it is what's happening or has happened in some parts of the world.
Bottomline: A good read.