As always, this review won’t contain spoilers and I will give as little detail as possible so that anyone who hasn’t yet read the book can enjoy the surprises like I was able to.
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a modern classic. 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 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’ll go for what she believes.
‘Dear Readers, everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ Margaret Atwood
“History does not repeat itself. But it rhymes.”
Praise Be. The Testaments is finally here and it is a masterpiece. Margaret Atwood is a genius and she has written a powerhouse of a novel that I immediately became lost in. Thought provoking and moving, I was transfixed by every word. Reading it was like having an unquenchable thirst and I couldn’t stop until I was finished.
The story takes place fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale and is narrated by three very different women. Each offers their own unique perspective and gives us a broader insight into Gilead and the lives of its women. This book is about illuminating the truth behind the facade of Gilead in various ways and we finally learn the answer to the question posed at the end of the first book – how did it fall?
The multiple narrators give the book a tone that sets it apart from the first book. I enjoyed seeing a wider range of life in Gilead and understanding how different roles truly work. I thought the people the author chose to use to narrate were inspired and had me re-examining everything I thought I knew.
As someone who loves the book and show, I did wonder if this sequel would negatively affect my views towards the latter, but it has made me love it more. I plan to rewatch every episode for clues of what I’ve learned from this book and the chance to see certain characters through a different lens.
The Testaments is a magnificent, emotional, riveting ride and it felt like I held my breath for most of the book. It was an experience like no other and Ms Atwood far exceeded my expectations. I don’t think it’s a surprise to learn that I highly recommend this book. And if you’ve never read the first one then I have it on good authority that it works well as a stand alone too. The hype is real and you don’t want to miss this book.