So this is pretty much a feminist's and atheist's nightmare. The religious right has taken over and women pretty much lose every right, including reading (yes, this should horrify all female GRers). While this was written in the 1980s, it is frighteningly applicable to today's politics (not surprising considering the recycling and rehashing of issues Republicans enjoy). There are countless reviews that summarize the book well so I will keep that aspect brief.
I'm giving The Handmaid's Tale 3 stars due to the well imagined dystopian and writing. However, I did find that the tale could have been shorter and accomplished the same outcome while removing some of the duller parts. The narrator was difficult to listen to at times, especially when she came across as a bit of an unreliable narrator. The open-ended ending did not bother me, but I would have liked more elaborate details throughout.
Overall I am both impressed and horrified by Atwood's imagining, and sadly I believe there are those that could read it and feel this is how our world should be. And those people? They are the root of many evils.