The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Book 8/30.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have read a shitload of fascinating and engrossing books over the years, but The Testaments took the word unputdownable to A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL!!! Ironically, I didn’t enjoy its predecessor The Handmaid’s Tale, but I loved this sequel sooo damn much. More ironically (lol), the opposite is true for a number of Goodreads reviewers i.e. they LOVED The Handmaid’s Tale but cannot say the same for The Testaments. Many critics of this novel feel that Margaret Atwood should never have ventured back into the world of Gilead. They strongly believe that the ambiguous ending of The Handmaid’s Tale is perfection and should have been left the fuck alone. They also say that this book was written to appeal more to fans of the TV show than the original novel. They revere The Handmaid’s Tale as a literary classic and the level of praise bestowed upon it is the kind that many authors can only dream of.
To each his own indeed.

The novel is narrated by 3 women: Agnes Jemima, brought up in a commander’s household in Gilead; the one and only Aunt Lydia; and Daisy, a teenager living in Canada with her parents, in this order:
Agnes ➡ Aunt Lydia ➡ Daisy ➡ Aunt Lydia. Rinse, repeat.

I quite enjoyed Agnes and Daisy’s chapters, but like most readers Aunt Lydia’s chapters were my favourite. Through her we got to learn about the earlier fall of the United States and the methods used to capture and then convert women to the belief system of the Sons of Jacob. This revelation terrified me because of how conceivable it is for the same thing to happen in this patriarchal world we live in. I even feel like I need to reiterate this- reading about how Gilead came to be scared the shit out of me!!

Despite the clear favourite, all three narrative threads succeed in one regard: their personal stories, full of commentary and quips of the world we live in, will make you angry. The physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that is doled out by the society of Gilead is horrifying. The lives of the three women eventually intertwine, as they each discover the extent of how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to right the world.

I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK! 11/10 would recommend!

View all my reviews

** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing

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