The main character, Offred, alternates between telling the story of her life as a handmaid and her life leading up to that. To smoothly segue Atwood uses rich analogies
“Here and there are worms, evidence of the fertility of the soil, caught by the sun, half dead; flexible and pink, like lips.”
and ruminations about words.
"The arrival of the tray, carried up the stairs as if for an invalid. An invalid, one who has been invalidated. No valid passport. No exit."
The apt use of these devices makes this story rich and fluid like honey. But, of course, this is a sad and terrifying story, not a sweet one. This novel is acrid honey.