The Testaments

The Testaments

Book - 2019
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Picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments narrated by three female characters.
Publisher: [Toronto] :, McClelland & Stewart,, 2019
Edition: Hardcover edition
Branch Call Number: FIC Atwoo
Characteristics: x, 419 pages


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Dec 05, 2019

Although well-written and interesting to read, it is not a good stand- alone novel. You really need to read her first novel to fully enjoy. The premise, that is, men are the bad guys and have created a world where a woman's main job and duty is to bear children for the next generation. This stretches the suspension of disbelief for me because women are 50% of the population plus there are plenty of normal men out there who would oppose the subjugation of women in this manner. Intended to be feminist literature, it fails to be believable and it fails to demonize men. Thus, 3.5 stars.

Nov 30, 2019

Great addition into the world of Handmaids Tale. It nicely wrapped up the First book and show. My only concern is how it will impact the show.

Nov 25, 2019

Disappointing. I remember being enthralled and frightened by "The Handmaid's Tale." This sequel does not measure up. The use of a narrator may have helped the young girls' stories. As written, the book seems more like a YA novel, except for Aunt Lydia. Many of her parts were interesting and well written but the rest of the plot didn't seem like serious fiction.

Nov 24, 2019

Love it! Highly recommend watching all three series of The Handmaid's Tale before reading this as it ties into the series quite nicely.

Nov 23, 2019

I did not enjoy The Handmaid's Tale, not when I read it in the 80s or when I read it again last year. It was just so dark and depressing. I was therefore a bit reluctant to read the sequel. I was pleasantly surprised, however, and found this to be a much brighter read. It answers so many questions left unanswered at the end of The Handmaid's Tale. It puts the events from that book in context and I really appreciated that. It also has a happy and hopeful ending, which I needed and appreciated. No wonder this was chosen to share the Booker Prize with Girl, Woman, Other by Anglo-Nigerian author, Bernardine Evaristo, which I will read next. Bravo Margaret Atwood!

ArapahoeChristineS Nov 21, 2019

This received a lot of mixed reviews, and I was hesitant to read it since part of the brilliance of the original is that since you viewed the story through the narrow lens of Offred, you were left with so many unanswered questions. I decided to give it a whirl, and although I didn't love it, I did like it. I was hoping for more information on Gilead and it's history, but the story was ultimately focused on 3 characters, and I was left a little unsatisfied. Overall, for a sequel, it wasn't bad.

Nov 19, 2019

Margaret Atwood cannot write a bad book, she is great. I was disappointed in the book. To me it was just a fleshing out of Handmaiden's tale, adding some positive characters and " resistance" fighters" in the saga of Gilead. It felt like it was written for the TV series, to diminish the evilness of the story and to create an underground resistance movement based in Canada. The plot's core "baby Nicole" was not drawn in detail, and sacrificed as a device to hold 3 sub-stories together.

As such, it did not add a great deal to the Gilead story. I would have much rather read about the revolutionary movement began, how Gilead took over, and its early history with areas that broke off. Here's hoping. It is still a remarkable story from a great creative mind.

Nov 18, 2019

I really enjoyed this, I felt it was a fitting sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. It might not have answered every question, and it took some time to get used to the 15 year gap, but overall I think it was necessary and very well done.

Nov 10, 2019

Very disappointed in this sequel. The Handmaid’s Tale was truly a gripping/groundbreaking novel when it was first published so repeating that is very difficult. I was however expecting better from an Atwood novel. Predicable ending with most of the characters “living happily ever after”. I did like the Aunt Lydia perspective of what was going on internally in Gilead as well as some insights into her history.

Nov 05, 2019

I found this much more satisfying than Handmaid's Tale, although to be fair it must have been more than 25 years I read the printed page. After watching the DVD from KCL as a refresher, now I finished Testaments. For me it was a steady read, even at 3 a.m. when I couldn't sleep. I don't consider this science fiction anymore than Blade Runner could happen. The future remains ... the future.

By Chapter 29 it came together for me, as I often have trouble keeping the non chronological texts confusing, unless I know the subject well. This writing makes so many references to time periods I know and had to laugh out loud at Shafley Cafe reference. Atwood was wonderful in her word usage, a dictionary often proved useful. Dithery... didn't know this is a root word for once so frequently used.

I liked the suspense, the use of realistic imagery, the personal 'journals' method to deliver background. I'm left with "In the end, how much of belief comes from longing." A thought that may come to one sooner later in a lifetime, it's a matter of reflection and consideration that comes with age. So, discard or contemplate various beliefs.

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Oct 02, 2019

"There were swings in one of the parks, but because of our skirts, which might be blown up by the wind and then looked into, we were not to think of taking such a liberty as a swing. Only boys could taste that freedom; only they could swoop and soar; only they could be airborne. I've never been on a swing. It remains one of my wishes." Part II - Chapter 3 - pg.16

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