This is a story of the subjugation of women, in the extreme. Atwood shows us men making use of religion to create a society of their own design in an effort to survive a disaster very probably of their own making. Difficulties in human reproduction have turned pregnancy on its head, twisting it away from the natural order of life to a prized possession. One that mothers no longer have ownership of.
The suffering of men in this terrible society devised by Atwood is not detailed but neither is it ignored. One has only to look around at present, past and likely new leaders, to know there is a real possibility of this, or something like it, occurring in the future.
Lastly, I won’t give anything away but must admit to being a little disappointed with the end of the story. Until I found that was not actually the end of the book. There is a summing up that was simply marvellous.