A New York Times bestselling modern masterpiece that "reminds us of the power of truth in the face of evil” (People)—and can be read on its own or as a sequel to Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale.
“Atwood’s powers are on full display” (Los Angeles Times) in this deeply compelling Booker Prize-winning novel, now updated with additional content that explores the historical sources, ideas, and material that inspired Atwood.
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: Aunt Lydia. Her complex past and uncertain future unfold in surprising and pivotal ways.
With The Testaments, Margaret Atwood 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.
Loved it. Truly gave me closure.55
I found this book hard to get into but once you are hooked, it’s hard to put down. A rarely accurate look at the dark side of human nature and doing whatever is needed, when being brave it all one has left. Beautifully descriptive writing as always from Atwood.55
I like Margaret Atwood but this is not her best work. I don’t know how it got such good reviews.35
I love this whole storyline set in the future even after with what the show covers and I hope the show picks up this storyline.55
This book absolutely took my breath away. The way that modern events are similar to events happening in this book is quite clever. As a woman this book hit hard. From Agnes to Nicole, their experiences resonated with my own struggles as a woman in America.55
(WARNING: Potential Spoiler) First time around this book doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (especially in the first half). This is primarily because there is a vital aspect of the story and setting that is never explained (you just kinda figure it out): 15 years later. The Testaments takes place 15 years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale (that would’ve good to know 🤬). Another key aspect of the story that I think should’ve been known from the beginning in order to better understand the characters we’re following, is that (view spoiler). Instead, it is done as a surprise reveal about half way through (hens why the first half didn’t make a whole lot of sense), but upon a second reading, I personally enjoyed the book more knowing this from the beginning. *This part is a HUGE, HUGE negative for me because it relies entirely on the TV show.* 👎 (yes, unfortunately the book makes a lot more sense if you’ve seen the show) But the biggest downfall here is the epilogue, which chronicles the future/history of the collapse of Gilead and the fate of all our characters, past and present. Ironic, considering that Margaret Atwood herself stated that explaining the collapse of Gilead was the purpose of writing this book in the first place (also, once again, there is a heavy reliance on the reader having seen the show in order to fully understand everything). As a stand-alone book, it provides good closure to its own story. As a series, it only serves to ruin a first entry that was never meant to have a sequel. Sometimes the best ending is no ending. While I am not a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, I do recognize that it is a good book. And its ambiguity is what made it good. The lack of information we’re given because we’re following a single POV from a lower class character was not only understood, but accepted. It made us wonder, it made us question, and encouraged us to use our imagination to fill in the blanks. The ending alone is the very definition of “fear for the worst, hope for the best.” Many questions were left unanswered, and the book was all the better for it. The Testaments, however, seems to have set out to answer these questions. Using the tactic of exploring multiple POV’s in order to fill in any potential gaps, and jumping forward into the future to tie up any loose ends. For most books this would be a good thing, except for when the readers fear of the unknown is your friend. In this, the stories ambiguous nature that made the first book so good is suddenly stripped away, and provides you with the happy ending you never realized you didn’t want. 👍 On the positive side, almost every aspect of The Testaments is a step up from The Handmaid's Tale. The characters are better developed with more emotion, and the narrative is more focused, giving the characters more direction and purpose, all done while adding greater tension and higher steaks. Independently they are both good books, but as a series all they do is clash. And while good, they could’ve been great. Even though The Handmaid’s Tale came out over 30 years ago and The Testaments is an obvious cash grab (that’s right, I said it), in retrospect, it would’ve been so much better if they were 1 book. Take the world building and setup of the first with the story and tension of the second, and it would be even more of a classic.35
Gripping, entertaining, fantastic. I read it in one day, which is saying a lot because I’m not a fast reader. I loved the book, the changes in perspective made perfect sense and the character choices were spot on. Truly great ending to a story that began 30 years ago.55
I honestly love the story of June and her daughters. I am captivated by the depth of the world created through the books and the tv show. This book, however, seems to have been an emotional response by Margaret Atwood to gain back control of her characters. The story is a bit disjointed and attempts to cover this up results in the multiple narrators and ultimately coved up by the “ way in the future end. ” If I were in the position of having an opinion, I would have said it needs to be rewritten. The book is poorly edited and feels heavy-handed. My recommendation is to read this book just to know the cannon of the story and look past the second rate writing.35
It took me many months to get through the first quarter of the book but once the book got very good I could not put down. Rated w one star missing due to the slowness at first. This book would be a great end to the Handmaids series on Hulu....45
Amazing writing! Inspiring!55