This book is about choice and how we yearn for it when it’s been stripped from us (and how the idea of feminism doesn’t mean it’s good/bad to want certain things; rather, it means you get to choose whether or not you want them). Like all young girls, Calla reports to the station on the day of her first period. There, each girl is given either a blue or white ticket. A white ticket means they’re destined for marriage and children; a blue ticket means they’re immediately fitted with an IUD and can have a career (but no children). The girls leave the station and head straight to their destinies, likely not seeing their families again. Most women don’t think twice about the lot they’re given and appreciate that their lives are planned for them. But what about those who want a life that’s different from what’s been assigned? Or, for Calla, the freedom to decide for herself? Calla decides to test the limits of her blue ticket assignment and is banished and then hunted when she gets pregnant.
I wish there was more background. Why does the ticket system exist? Why only in this country? It reads more like a stream of consciousness than a story. While I appreciate that this underscored Calla’s on-the-move status, I was hungry for more context. The point is to shroud this society in mystery…but I wanted more answers. While this was a new take on a Handmaid’s Tale-esque story, Atwood succeeded in providing more of a backstory that kept us engaged (and angry).
3 out of 5 stars.
Pair with: Cheap whiskey