I Can’t Make This Up, Life Lessons By Kevin Hart

IMG_20180705_171309_733This hilarious autobiography/ memoir is exactly the type of story we need to read in today’s stressful times as it will have you laughing out loud. Famous comedian, Kevin Hart takes the reader through a roller coaster of events that occurred throughout his life including the good, the bad and the ugly. Hart begins his story by taking us back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he grew up. From childhood to teenage stages, to being a young man to adulthood, Kevin provides insight and wisdom on life that he gained either through experience or via the characters that have entered and/or left his life. With each chapter being a new “life lesson”, we learn about his drug addicted womanizing father, his brother who was in and out of trouble but eventually got his act together due to the military, the co-worker who told him he should go into comedy and to Tory, his baby momma who added drama. We learn Kevin loved his Dad but never wanted to end up like him, and loved his brother but were two different people, to how Kevin was Mr. Awesome in high school but graduated with no plan and ended up working retail all while dealing with a love-hate relationship with Tory that all lead to self destruction, self discovery and relationship wisdom. Kevin provides us with keen insight into the hustle that he endured during the early stages of his career driving from Philly to NYC to perform in comedy shows that either paid little or nothing at all.

Throughout all the hustle and hardship that Kevin mentions in the book, he continuously makes references to his solid foundation that came from his rock which was his mother, Nancy. He comments on how she kept him consistently busy with activities like swimming lessons and then having to be watched by a neighbor everyday so he would stay out of trouble. He mentions how all she had to do was give “the look” and knew that he was in deep water. While he describes her as a strict, fierce, highly disciplined, church-going, bible-reading tough love kind of a mother, he also mentions how she was his everything and biggest supporter all along whether he was aware of it or not. Kevin mentions that it wasn’t until she got really sick and eventually passed away while he was shooting the film Fool’s Gold (2008) in Australia that he realized how much she meant to him and that life lesson number whatever is that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love.

The take away from this memoir is a mix. By the end you feel as though Kevin is a good friend, yet also a comedian who provides you with life lessons that don’t always hold value but then shockingly your heart is melted by the fact that Kevin learned and shared the biggest life lesson of all. That lesson is that is life is short, and you should spend it with your family and loved ones and that you can’t expect 100% of anything when you give anything less that a 100%. That you should work hard everyday, stay disciplined and focused on your goals and that you will achieve success through all you hard work. 

My advice to the readers out there reading this article is to not read this book but rather listen to this book through audible.com or audio books via apple or the library with books on tape. Kevin Hart reads his own story and thus adds comments that are improvised throughout the reading that is not on page. Kevin’s energy throughout the reading makes the words come to life and fills the atmosphere with laughter, wit and love. Hard copy 4/5 stars, audible version 5/5 stars. 

Year One by Nora Roberts

IMG_20180306_125157_341Year One is a wonderfully well written science fiction / fantasy novel that will suck you in and captivate you by it’s characters. As the new year rings in, a new apocalyptic world develops where a dark and mysterious disease with no cure insight known as “the doom” takes a human life each second throughout the world. As witches, fae, elves and shape shifters (of good and evil) emerge as the more dominant race as many humans are dropping off the face of the Earth, the only humans who do survive are somehow immune to “the doom”. 

The main characters Lana and Max who are both witches living in NYC, realize they must finally leave the city they love so much if the are going to survive in this new world as it has now become overrun by “the doom”, mobs of angry rioters known as the “riders” and some sort of dark magical force. Max leads the way to Pennsylvania in hopes of reaching his young warlock brother Eric who is safe in a cabin in the woods. While at the cabin, Lena discovers she is pregnant with Max’s baby and once again these two (or now three) are in danger. Eric and his spunky girlfriend have turned and are consumed with dark magic determined to destroy “the one” within Lana. Through a heart breaking dual between two brother’s Max annihilates Eric in order to protect Lana and his baby. With a sadden heart, the Max, Lana and the unborn baby head towards the middle of the country and then South in hopes of finding a more stable environment to survive.

Secondary main characters such as Chuck who is a tech genius from Hoboken, NJ, Arlys the journalist from NYC who is with her overly optimistic female fae colleague Fred know they too must find a safer place to be. Rachel the successful Brooklyn doctor and Jonah the paramedic who has the ability to see death within people before it takes hold of them and Katie who’s the new mother of twins and an infant know they must survive and exit the city via boat to NYC and head West then South. Along the way, the lives of these characters intersect and ultimately, they all come together in hopes of having a new and stable life in a town they named New Hope. As more and more survivors roll into New Hope, life is looking better, as everyone has something to offer whether it be that they’re one of the “Un-canning” (non-human magical folk) or human. Unfortunately chaos breaks when Eric returns high in the sky with consumed with more evil power and kills Max instantly. Feeling the magic grown inside her daughter and knowing Eric will not cease until her and her daughter are dead, Lena, who is far along in her pregnancy flees New Hope embarking on a journey of her own to survive. 

Dirty, weak and nearly starving Lana stumbles upon a small farm tucked away in the woods and is taken in by the kind and handsome ex-US Army Captain named Simon Swift. The two are skeptical of each other at first, but ultimately end up helping each other and become great companions. Simon helps to deliver Lana’s baby and from that moment of birth they’re a family. Fast forward to the beginning of a new year, a mysterious bearded man on horseback named Mallick arrives to pay tribute to “the one” (Fallon, Lana’s daughter). He informs Lana and Simon that “Her coming has been written, sung and foretold. One year ago today, the fabric ripped, the scales tipped when the blood of the damned defiled holy ground. So the purge followed, and magick strikes back, you have nothing to fear of me” (location 6102, via Kindle version). Malick informs them that when Fallon is thirteen, he will come back for her and take her for two years of training to become what she was born to become. Malick then gives baby Fallon a ball of crystals that only she will be able to use and a pink teddy bear and vanishes, leaving the reader Lena and Simon in thoughts of confusion. The story ends as what I consider a cliff hanger, because while story has finished, a new one has begun. 

This new novel by Nora Roberts is the perfect story to devour if you are a True Blood and/or The Walking Dead fan. Set to be a series, this is book one, and while it is filled with despair, loss, fear and sorrow it is also extremely adventurous, captivating, exciting, hopeful and at times humorous. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am on heels of anticipation for the sequel. Happy reading! 5 stars – Loved it. 

Top 10 Books I Read in 2017

It was a busy year when it came to reading and out of the 32 books I completed (ranging from children’s books, to sci-fi, to murder/mystery, to fiction, historical fiction and audio books), I have narrowed down my favorites to 10 finalists. The winners are

IMG_20171111_172307_6451. THERE WAS AN OLD MUMMY WHO SWALLOWED A SPIDER BY JENNIFER WARD – is an illustrated Halloween children’s book filled with silly rhythmic and funny words perfect for capturing any young child’s attention. In short, a mummy wakes up from his sleep and sees a spider and decides to swallow it. Throughout the story he continues to swallow an eclectic range of items and living organisms making any child squirm and squeal with skepticism and delight. With phrases like “He swallowed the ghost to scare the witch….” and “He swallowed the rate to chase the spider” the reader wonders what on Earth the mummy will swallow next. Will it be another strange item or will it perhaps be you? Definitely worth picking up for any young reader who enjoys Halloween and being silly.  Category: Children’s Picture Book
https://g.co/kgs/SshH9b

IMG_20171024_164700_3832. THE CRUCIBLE BY ARTHUR MILLER – One of my all time favorite plays and classic pieces of literature. Miller’s play captures the essence of the contagious and rapid insanity of “witchcraft” hysteria during the years of 1692 and 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. Through descriptive character development Arthur Miller takes the readers on a journey back in time to witness the chaos, torture, desperation and despair. Through these accusations and ultimate deaths of many of the characters, Arthur Miller eloquently displays how men at that time used religion as a means of control to achieve a desired outcome. They used the fear of God to persuade people to conform whether they wanted to or not, which is against the true meaning or message of Christianity. The Crucible’s strong undertone proves how corrupt man’s spirit can be despite religious affiliation and how righteous a man’s spirit can be even if he has committed sin. Witchcraft be only the icing on top of this cake. In the event that you haven’t absorbed this play yet, please consider it a must read and place it on your “to be read” list as it is written beautifully and touches upon human characteristic flaws and how if provided a spark everything will ignite. Remember, history does repeat itself.
Category: Historical Fiction, History, Plays, Dramatic Theater
https://g.co/kgs/fUZjRp

IMG_20171025_095500_9983. ROOM ON THE BROOK BY JULIA DONALDSON –  A delightfully illustrated children’s book perfect for Halloween time. It’s a simple, short and entertaining rhythmic story about a witch who shares her broom with a dog, a cat, a frog and a bird. With the simple teachings of being kind to others and they’ll be kind to you, this is a funny and cute story to read to little ones this Halloween season.
Category: Children’s Picture Book, Halloween
https://g.co/kgs/ENLLPG

IMG_20171016_145520_7394. LIES SHE TOLD BY KATE HOLAHAN– Ever tell that lie so much that you’ve come to believe it yourself? Is there a distinct line between fiction and non-fiction? One never really knows except the story teller as the truth normally dies with them. This is a mind-boggling, line blurring, cross over of fiction versus non-fiction suspenseful murder/mystery novel in which the author, Cate Holahan engulfs the reader into the similarly complex lives of Liza and Beth. This makes the reader ponder which is the lie and which is the truth. A must read for anyone who enjoys character manipulation, suspense, murder/mystery, psychological drama and mind games. I highly recommend this novel as a must read for Fall as I haven’t read a story like this before.
Category: Murder/Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Fiction
https://g.co/kgs/dmK7sM

IMG_20170922_131010_3365. DARK MATTER BY BLAKE CROUCH – if you had to look at yourself standing right in front of yourself, would you trust that other version of you? This novel of science-fiction, mystery and quantum mechanics turns into a game of chess, a battle against his own thoughts (Jason, the main character) and a survival of the fitness leading into much suspense and murder. A fast paced, engaging and contemplating novel is an excellent read and leaves the reader in awe. Remember, life is laid out in a matter of minutes and in each minute we have a choice. Depending on what you choose will alter all the other minutes in your life. What choice will you make?
Category: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance, Fiction
https://g.co/kgs/Nd446R


IMG_20170901_173117_0496. THE HANDMAID’S TALE BY MARGARET ATWOOD – 
 (Audiobook read by Claire Danes)This novel was originally published in 1985 but touches the reader as though it was written today. This well written novel of a dystopian society scarily coincides with what takes place with women’s rights and politics today. Claire Danes’s voice adds familiarity and emotion to the story that I don’t feel I would have gained if I had just read the book alone. Her reading performance is wonderful and adds a voice to Ofred (the main character). Loved this audiobook and highly recommend for readers on the go and for all men/women. he Handmaid’s Tale is such a predominate piece of literature that it is considered a classic and must-read for men and women, young and old. I highly recommend this novel, for it surely will leave you stunned and breathless.
Category: Fiction, Women’s Interest
https://g.co/kgs/taeHpm

IMG_20170909_213716_986

7. THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE BY WILLIAM JOYCE- a wonderful children’s book! Gorgeous illustrations & a terrific children’s book to inspire/teach the love and appreciation of books to youth. A must have in any children’s library or in any classroom. Category: Children’s Picture Book  https://g.co/kgs/1XrTcr

 

IMG_20170819_212438_3338. FINAL GIRLS BY RILEY SAGER – Thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it is filled with amazing plot twists loaded with suspense and psychological drama. Enjoyed every minute and could not put down. It plays on the human mind and how we block things out we don’t want to remember and how sometimes those closest to us are really the ones we should fear the most. Highly recommend. What really happened at Pine Cottage in the middle of the woods? Find out in this murder-mystery/psychological thriller. Heart racing, fast paced while leaving you on the edge of your seat. 
Category: Thriller, Murder/Mystery, Fiction 
https://g.co/kgs/QNX4oC

IMG_20180206_1235059949. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID – Excellent book about classic Hollywood during an era in which stars and studios were everything. The story follows one woman Evelyn and how she had her ups and downs and what she did to rise to fame and what she did for the love of her life. The question is who was the love of her life? Was it one of the seven husbands or was it someone else? Were all the marriages for love or publicity? What really happens once the cameras stop rolling and the paparazzi is gone? Excellent historical fiction read filled with a great plot twist, sprinkled with juicy brain candy. A pure delight and I can’t wait to read it again.  Category: Historical Fiction, Romance   
https://g.co/kgs/ZfwC43

IMG_20170910_184606_051

10. FAHRENHEIT 451 BY RAY BRADBURY – a literary classic originally published in 1953 and yet the content of the story is so relevant to today’s time (2017). Having read it once in high school and once this year, I consider it to be a must read for all readers young and old. This novel will stop anyone today in their tracks & make them observe their surroundings. Read this wonderful novel to discover all that is important and why books and knowledge are always the most powerful resource.
Category: Science Fiction, Fiction 
  https://g.co/kgs/dUuXv8

 

IMG_20180206_123532054_HDR***BONUS*** EXIT WEST BY MOHSIN HAMIDAn excellent story that I consider to be a realistic fiction. While the story is fictitious, it could very well be one survivors story. Mohsin writes about Nadia and Saeed who are living their lives in the Middle East and end up falling for each other in one of their colleges classes. Starting out as friends, their relationship grows into something more as their town is soon taken over by the military and is subjected to air raids. The dismantle of their home, loss of loved ones and loss of electricity forces them to seek refuges elsewhere. They end up in Greece, then London and finally California. Though Mohsin Hamid does not specify the exact settings, one understands through context clues that this story is highly based on the Syrian refugees who fled to Greece, then London and then came to America. It is a beautifully and poetically written novel that touches the human soul through human connection, love, the need for survival, violence, anger, confusion, hate, despair, friendship and above all hope. A literary must read. This novel is one of the top 20 Amazon Editors picks for best books of 2017 (https://www.amazon.com/b?node=17276804011a book of the month club pick for March 2017, (bookofthemonth.comand a NY Times Top 10 Best Books of 2017. https://g.co/kgs/e7tEYN

*All website links are dated as of February 6th, 2018*

 

 

 

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

IMG_20171024_164700_383One of my all time favorite plays and classic pieces of literature is The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Miller’s play captures the essence of the contagious and rapid insanity of “witchcraft” hysteria during the years of 1692 and 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. The Salem Witch Trials were a dark time in American history in which roughly 200 men and women were accused of practicing witchcraft and roughly 20 people were hanged on the accusations. Interesting thing about the Salem Witch Trails is that a lot of the accusations had to do with “witnesses” claiming falsehoods as true and fabricating elaborate stories to seek a desired outcome. Through descriptive character development Arthur Miller takes the readers on a journey back in time to witness the chaos, torture, desperation and despair. 

Abigail Williams is a teenage girl who lusts for John Proctor, who is a good Christian farmer and married to Elizabeth Proctor with three sons. In a night of lust John commits the sin of adultery providing Abigail with false hope. Abigail who is young and filled with lust and envy asks Tituba (a slave girl from Barbados) to conjure up spirits to help her get rid of Elizabeth in hopes of becoming John’s new wife. During the night in which Abigail, Tituba, (and two other Christian girls from the town), Betty and Mary head into the woods and dance around in a circle as Tituba sings, Reverend Parris witnesses this and finds it uncouth. The next day Betty (Reverend Parris’s daughter) is ill in bed and will not wake up. Reverend Parris (being a man of God) chooses to look at the “dancing” as the Devil’s worship and that the girls were working for the Devil. (In the modern world of today we tend to look at dancing in the woods as free-spirited fun). Abigail denies she had any part in it and blames it all on Tituba saying that it was Tituba that spoke with the Devil. From this point forward accusations of “I saw”, “she saw”, “she did”, “she didn’t”, “I did” and “I didn’t” are thrown like a ball at a ping pong match.  

John Proctor’s wife Elizabeth is convicted of witchcraft because she happened to have a poppet (a doll) with a needle in it inside her home and John is thrown into jail for not knowing all 10 commandments, adultery and saying “God is dead in this town”. The mid-wife Rebecca Nurse is also convicted of witchcraft for helping deliver babies who happened to be still born or die shortly after. (Remember that was common for that time period due to lack of proper medical care). Giles Corey is crushed to death by stones for neither denying or agreeing to committing witchcraft stating the famous phrase “more weight” choosing to die with his pride and his name intact. 

Through these accusations and ultimate deaths of many of the characters, Arthur Miller eloquently displays how men at that time used religion as a means of control to achieve a desired outcome. They used the fear of God to persuade people to conform whether they wanted to or not, which is against the true meaning or message of Christianity. The Crucible’s strong undertone proves how corrupt man’s spirit can be despite religious affiliation and how righteous a man’s spirit can be even if he has committed sin. Witchcraft be only the icing on top of this cake. 

In the event that you haven’t absorbed this play yet, please consider it a must read and place it on your “to be read” list as it is written beautifully and touches upon human characteristic flaws and how if provided a spark everything will ignite. Remember, history does repeat itself. Read, learn and be aware. Happy reading. (5 stars)

 

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

IMG_20171016_145520_739Ever told a lie to get out of trouble or to avoid the truth? Ever tell that lie so much that you’ve come to believe it yourself? When do dreams end and reality begins? Is there a distinct line between fiction and non-fiction? One never really knows except the story teller as the truth normally dies with them……

“Lies She Told” is a mind-boggling, line blurring, cross over of fiction versus non-fiction suspenseful murder/mystery novel in which the author, Cate Holahan engulfs the reader into the similarly complex lives of Liza and Beth.  This makes the reader ponder which is the lie and which is the truth. Our main character, Liza is a thirty something female author living in NYC who undergoes intense hormonal treatment in hopes of achieving a baby with her attorney husband David. While Liza’s first book, “Drowned Secrets” was a best seller her most recent novels have flopped. Her handsome British accented, black editor Trevor permits her an extension (of one month) on her new novel encouraging her to write more of a romantic suspense story sprinkled with hints of sociopaths. With the pressure mounting, Liza embarks on this new novel and creates the character Beth. Beth, also happens to be married and living in NYC, but already has a new born baby girl (something Liza hopes for). Like Liza’s husband David, Beth’s husband Jake works long hours, isn’t home that much and doesn’t engage in great lengthy conversations. As Liza progresses with her writing, both Liza and Beth deal with their husbands who are hiding secrets.

In Liza’s life, David’s business partner Nick has disappeared and it is ripping him apart from the insides as though Nick was more than just a friend. David obsesses over Nick’s disappearance and goes on for a month of non-stop attempting to solve the case and find his friend. Nick was also the best man at Liza and David’s wedding and has never approved of David marrying Liza, causing some waves amongst their marital bliss. Conveniently in Liza’s story Beth begins to notice that there is something disturbing her marriage with Jake. That disturbance is non other than police officer Colleen who has mesmerized Jake with her curvaceous pre-baby body and her skillful maneuvers in the bedroom. While Beth’s insides shake like a wild animal caged at the zoo, she goes to confront Jake about the affair, but gets manipulated by her blue eyed dreamy husband and is persuaded to see a therapist (Jake believes her issues are due to being cooped up inside the apartment with the baby and postpartum depression). Similarly, Beth’s new therapist Taylor, is also a muscular, smooth skinned British accented black male just like Liza’s editor Trevor.

Needless to say the similarities of Liza’s and Beth’s lives are very close and it doesn’t stop there. Next thing you know Liza’s gun (which she keeps in her closet) is missing and Beth is heaving Colleen’s body into the East River. Turn a few pages, and the police knock on Liza’s door claiming Nick’s body has been seen and pulled up out of the East River, all while the police knock at Beth’s door stating that Colleen is missing. (Cue the Law and Order scene change noise aka dum dum). 

Questions and words of plea on all ends fly from each character to another like daggers in sword fight. Phrases of “How could you?” and “Why?”and “How could you do it?” and “I don’t remember!” and “But it was only a story!” are screamed.  Despair, infidelity, loss, murder, rage and revenge are the icing on this cake of suppressed psychological and physical trauma. The reader believes the question of “how far will one go to achieve the so called perfect life?”, but towards the end we realize something more. We discover how beautiful and dangerous is the human mind in creating a web of fabricated lies to protect the individual’s soul from the memories of anguish and torment. For Liza who is also known as Beth, her story ends with the truth, but begins a new with lies. 

A must read for anyone who enjoys character manipulation, suspense, murder/mystery, psychological drama and mind games. I highly recommend this novel as a must read for Fall as I haven’t read a story like this before. 

 

 

 

 

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

IMG_20170919_140115_799.jpgGirl on The Train by Paula Hawkins is a great psychological thriller/mystery sprinkled with alcoholism, murder, adultery and deception. This best seller follows Rachel, as she commutes back and forth between her suburban town and London. Like any commuter who isn’t reading or listening to music, she day dreams gazing out the window of the train pondering or enjoying the scenery. Everyday the train stalls at the same spot and Rachel has the opportunity to admire the beautiful house that once belonged to her and Tom (now her ex-husband). New couple, Megan and Scott now occupy the house and she witnesses them everyday (on what used to be her back porch) hugging, kissing, drinking coffee etc. Rachel imagines their life to be the beautiful life that she once thought she had with Tom, but that all changes when one day she sees Megan with a man who is not Scott. Her fantasized image of the couple is now broken, (which for anyone else would just be disappointing), but for Rachel it is devastating. How could Megan do such a thing? Since Tom left Rachel for Anna while they were living in that house, Rachel reverts back to her feelings of being betrayed and transfers her anger and disappointment towards Megan.

Days later Megan is in the newspaper announced missing and the disillusioned Rachel feels as though she must get to the bottom of this. Her obsession becomes more than just a concerned citizen and border lines that of disturbing and psychotic. The novel then progresses forward unveiling dark secrets not just about Megan’s and Anna’s past but Rachel’s as well. We see Rachel’s world through wine induced glasses where even the reader doesn’t know if she is just a drunk or onto something real. As she dives deeper into the complicated web of lies and deceptions, Rachel discovers Scott has a dark past filled with control issues and rage, just like Tom. Caught in a dangerous situation with Scott, Rachel ultimately begins to uncover the truth of what she already knows but was buried underneath her hangover after hangover. Ultimately Megan’s body appears in the woods and Scott is now the major suspect. Statements of Tom being abusive, a sex-addict and more become relevant, and Anna (Tom’s new wife) no longer knows if she is safe.

What is real and who should you trust becomes the theme, leaving every character strong and yet vulnerable. At times sad, emotional and perplexing this novel definitely keeps the reader guessing, feeling and pondering….Did she? Did he? Will she? Will he? How? When? Why? Is this real or just the alcohol? Can Rachel untangle this complicated web of lies and reveal the truth or die trying? The ending is heartbreaking and encouraging for the main character. I recommend this novel as a great fall read… especially if you’re a daily commuter. Enjoy! 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

IMG_20170901_173117_049The Handmaid’s Tale written by Margaret Atwood was originally published in 1985 but touches the reader as though it was written today. This well written novel of a dystopian society scarily coincides with what takes place with women’s rights and politics today.

Ofred (the main character) is a handmaid and lives in what is essentially America, but is extremely micro-managed by the religiously extreme government entitled the Republic of Gilead. This Republic divides women into classes of legitimate or illegitimate. Legitimate women are then classified as either wives, daughters, handmaids, aunts, marthas and econowives. The illegitimate women are classified as either unwomen or jezebels. The handmaids are women who have voluntarily (or should I say involuntarily) offered themselves as basically sex slaves, but not for sex, but rather to consistently reproduce for the “wives” they are assigned to. That’s right, if a woman is considered fruitful “blessed be the fruit” she is called a handmaid and then is assigned to a wife and husband (or commander) who are not. The handmaid is basically a surrogate and serves no other purpose is life but that. The process to become impregnated is torturous to read and feels more like rape. The handmaid is to lie in bed with her head on top of the wife’s pelvic bone, hold the wife’s hands and then allow the husband of the wife to penetrate her (the handmaid). While reading this I actually said out loud “did it really just say that?!”.

Once a handmaid produces a child for the family, she is considered highly valuable and is sent to another family to do the same thing. Once a handmaid can no longer reproduce (whether she hits menopause or not) she is essentially sent out to pasture. Does Ofred remain trapped in this society or does she manage to escape to freedom in what is today’s Canada? Does she give birth or is she sent away as a useless woman?

Written with such raw depths of emotion and confusion, this novel is at times curious, relentless, humorous, downright torturous and terrifying while ironically providing a sense of optimism. Margaret Atwood’s ending to the story leaves the reader unknowing while knowing everything. The Handmaid’s Tale is such a predominate piece of literature that it is considered a classic and must-read for men and women, young and old. I highly recommend this novel, for it surely will leave you stunned and breathless.