Book Discussion Group

"Educated: A Memoir" by Tara Westover, is the unforgettable story of a 17 year old girl who, kept out of school by her survivalist parents, perseveres to earn a college degree, a Master's degree from Harvard, and ultimately, a PhD from Cambridge University. Her tale of struggle and survival gets to the heart of what an education really is, and the power it has to alter the course of a life.

The Book Discussion Group invites everyone, old and new, to join the conversation on February 7th, at 1:30 in the MCR, as we share thoughts about this powerful and uplifting story of determination.

Limited copies of the book are available in the Rainberry library. As always, all opinions are valued, but we also welcome those who prefer to sit and listen to our always interesting exchanges.


For the NYT review of this book, click on the book cover.

"The Handmaid's Tale" is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, originally published in 1985. It is set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian state resembling a theonomy, which has overthrown the United States government. The novel focuses on the journey of the handmaid Offred. Her name derives from the possessive form "of Fred"; handmaids are forbidden to use their birth names and must echo the male, or master, whom they serve.

"The Handmaid's Tale" explores themes of women in subjugation in a patriarchal society and the various means by which these women attempt to gain individualism and independence. 

The Handmaid's Tale is structured into two parts, night and other various events. This novel can be interpreted as a double narrative, Offred's tale and the handmaids' tales. The night sections are solely about Offred, and the other sections (shopping, waiting room, household, etc.) are the stories that describe the possible life of every handmaid, though from the perspective of Offred. In many of these sections, Offred jumps between past and present as she retells the events leading up to the fall of women's rights and the current details of the life which she now lives.

In 2018, Atwood announced that a sequel novel, The Testaments, will be published in 2019.

Click on the book cover to see the NY Times review.