By Margaret Atwood
Nan A. Talese, 9780385543781, September 2019, 432pp.
The Short of It:
A solid follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale and although it’s been years since I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale, I did not need a refresher before reading this one.
The Rest of It:
Gilead. A place where women are assigned to a certain order based on their “talents”. Some are married off to high-profile men to live a somewhat respectable life, surrounded by other women to cater to whatever they may need, even a baby if they cannot have one naturally. Other women are tasked with finding more women like them. Others, find themselves fighting for the resistance in the form of “Mayday”.
The Testaments focuses on Baby Nicole, who was whisked away from Gilead years ago. Much effort is spent trying to find her but the people involved in her disappearance have organized to the point where her disappearance and her eventual re-introduction is all part of a much larger plan to take Gilead down.
This novel would have been captivating all by itself but reading it during the Supreme Court confirmation process, and realizing how much is currently at stake in the area of women’s reproductive rights, was chilling to say the least.
I enjoyed this read. Atwood is a great storyteller and quickly pulls you in. My only complaint is that it was a little hard to keep track of all the “Aunts”. I often had to go back a few pages to remind myself who was who. My club chose this for our discussion this month and I think it’s a book that needs to be discussed so I am hoping for some good conversation.
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8 thoughts on “Review: The Testaments”
I love Atwood but, agree that this one was a bit harder to keep track of characters.
All the Aunts were so similar to one another. As readers we don’t spend enough time with them to really get to know them so by the end I was just skimming their names.
I haven’t read this one yet. But this one could be a fantastic book club discussion.
Reading it while appointing a new Supreme Court justice, especially this one, was quite interesting.
I have this on my shelf and keep skipping over it because I don’t know if I am able to read such a long and heavy book right now.
I didn’t realize how long this book was because I read it on my Kindle but it definitely didn’t feel long. And it’s not as heavy, at least, in my opinion, as Handmaid.
I liked this just as much as Handmaid, though, as a sequel, it didn’t feel quite as fresh.
Does Offred ever show up in this book? I really do need to read this one soon. Glad that it reads well and I’m with you – Atwood is a great storyteller!