The tale concerns Offred a handmaid working in the Republic of Gilead as the central character, a country that replaced USA as a totalitarian state. From the book, we learn that citizens of the country have a problem of conceiving children and hence Handmaids are requested to bear children for married couples with such problems (Atwood, 2012). Offred happens to be working for the Commander and his wife Serena Joy, who at one point used to sing and also practiced law as an advocate.
Before coming to Gilead, the handmaid had been in a relationship with a married man named Luke. Luke parted ways with his wife and married Offred, and they were blessed to have a child together. Offred had come from a single parent family headed by her mother who was a feminist activist (Atwood, 2012). Offred remembers her best friend Moira whom she describes as a very independent person.