TITLE: The Testaments
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood
Following on from Atwood’s hugely popular novel The Handmaid’s Tale, this sequel returns us to the dystopian world of Gilead. The familiar themes of oppression and life within a totalitarian state are present, but viewed through the eyes of three differing perspectives. These are Agnes: a young girl that has grown up within Gilead, Lydia: the most formidable Aunt within its walls, and Daisy: a girl living outside in Canada but with a surprising link. The fate of Gilead lies in their hands.
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I feel more than a little late to the party only reading and reviewing this now! I was so excited for this book to come out but that excitement turned to apprehension when I started to read all the mixed reviews for it. There seemed to be so many people that had loved The Handmaid’s Tale but hated this and I wondered if I was better off not reading it. What if I hated it as well and it tainted my thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale which is one of my favourites! Because of this I didn’t read it for ages but eventually the curiosity proved too strong and I couldn’t resist.
I can confirm that I am in the ‘loved it’ camp when it comes to this book. As I write this I struggle to work out if I read the same book as those that disliked it because I can’t see how you wouldn’t enjoy this one. Having said that, I suppose that is the beauty of reading, it is subjective and what one person loves another may not.
I’m so glad I liked this though, if anything it made me love The Handmaid’s Tale even more and if I didn’t have such a huge list of books to get through I would probably be picking it up for a reread!
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So, what did I like about it?
I loved the differing perspectives, they were easy to follow and I felt this approach gave a really well-rounded and full impression of Gilead and Canada overall. I loved the writing style, for me there is just something about the way that Atwood constructs a story that makes me just want to devour it in one sitting. The pace was good, there was a steady development throughout so that I didn’t feel as though any parts were put in just because. The characterisation was brilliant, whether main or supporting characters I really felt something about them all and this is crucial for me when reading. If I struggle to feel anything then I can quickly lose interest in the story, luckily this wasn’t the case here.
I definitely think that this was worth the wait, and I would absolutely read it again! Furthermore I would recommend this to anyone and everyone!
There wasn’t anything about it that I didn’t like. Yes, if I had to choose a favourite between this and The Handmaid’s Tale then I would choose the latter but that is not a negative reflection on The Testaments, I just loved the former that much!
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This is truly a fascinating read, and more than a little frightening when you consider how easily the world of Gilead could become a reality.
MY RATING: 5/5
Have you read The Testaments? What did you think about it? If you haven’t read it do you think that you will? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!