This story seems to be set in some sort of future on Earth. We know this because countries like the U.S. (where the characters are located) and Japan are mentioned. However, the way of living in this new world is much different than ours. Commanders and their wives seem to be at the top of the social status as they own the houses and do very little of the chores, Guardians are generally police or other servants such as drivers and bodyguards, Marthas, as they are called, are cooks, and Handmaids (the main character is a handmaid) are there to do chores around the house and run errands. We are introduced to the main characters peers, Rita and Cora, but we don’t formally know the name of the main character yet. The world that they live in seems dominated by religion and there is allusion to war between these religions. So far the book describes the area that they live in and how pieces of an older time, perhaps not far from now, are still here in the form of old re-purposed buildings and stores.
I have not necessarily read many dystopian novels before so this is very interesting to me. I like the mystery of trying to figure out why things are this way and what secrets lie beneath.
The book does take place on Earth and several settings such as old buildings like gyms and stores. There are still cars and plants so it is more of a progression or alternate fate of our world.
I will comment on Elizabeth and Melia's blogs