The Handmaid's Tale is set in the near future in the Repuplic of Giliead, a country that was formed when the United States was overthrown by racist, chauvinistic, theocratic military coup. The story is told from point of view of a slave named Offred (of Fred, referring to the man she serves) who is a "handmaid" – a woman kept for reproductive purposes by the ruling class. Margaret Atwood explores many social issues including: gender roles, reproduction and sexuality, caste and social classes, and religious fundamentalism. The author gives the reader a thought provoking view into a future society.
This book would make an excellent choice for a book discussion group as it could lead to spirited discussion on many issues and provokes "What If" thinking.