Title: The Testaments
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Publish Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Science Fiction – Dystopia
Series: The Handmaid’s Tale #2
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.31
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, has become a modern classic—and now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel.
More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.
Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
A sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. This book takes place 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale, and has three female narrators telling of their experiences with Gilead.
I read The Handmaid’s Tale years ago, and loved the way it ended. I didn’t have any questions about what happened to Gilead, but with the popularity of the TV series, it seems a new book was wanted, or at least, would sell well. I do watch the series, and it’s been a long time since I read the book, so I was sometimes confused as to whether I was remembering what happened in the book or the show. Mainly, this book talks a lot about baby Nicole, who is only in the show, not the first book.
The three narrators are Aunt Lydia and two girls (Agnes and Daisy). One of the girls (Agnes) grows up in Gilead and the other one (Daisy) grows up in Canada. Aunt Lydia’s perspective was the most interesting, and made that character less of a villain. As for the girls, they have very different experiences growing up. For me, Agnes was a better developed character and I enjoyed her more. I found Daisy to be too immature and annoying.
The story continues to tell about life in Gilead, and how difficult it is being female in that society. It also introduces the Pearl Girls, missionaries of Gilead. The Pearl Girls travel outside of Gilead and find new recruits to bring back with them. It’s an interesting concept, and the only new thing added to the story of Gilead.
I found it to an entertaining read, but it is not a needed sequel. The ending of The Handmaid’s Tale is partly what made it an amazing book. This book is best read by fans of the TV series.
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