The Testaments

The Testaments

Book - 2019
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Set fifteen years after Offred stepped into an unknown fate, this sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale" relates the experiences of three female narrators from Gilead.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385543781
Branch Call Number: Atwood, M
Characteristics: x, 419 pages ; 25 cm


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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.

Donna_R Nov 03, 2019

I read The Testaments in one day, which is testament to how monumentally gripping it is. I laughed at the bit where someone in Gilead called leggings an abomination. But mostly it is bleak, serious, potent stuff and all 3 main characters are intriguing. It's up there with Handmaid's Tale thankfully, and it is a reading pleasure to immerse yourself in Atwood's imagination.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Nov 03, 2019

It was interesting to read this immediately on the heels of re-reading The Handmaid's Tale. First of all, the obvious: the sequel is not as good as the original -- but then, how could it be? The Handmaid's Tale is, to me, an essentially perfect book: beautifully written, angry, blisteringly smart, clever in its structure, flawless in its execution. It's a classic, and you can't match that. Nothing about that book, to me, begs a sequel -- part of the beauty of it is its ambiguity, the many things that Offred DOESN'T know. The Testaments is like a wide-angle lens by comparison, offering three alternating narrators and a much wider view of Gilead (and beyond!) and its history and future. It's fascinating reading -- I inhaled it in two days -- and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and Atwood's writing is, as ever, stellar. But is it strictly necessary? No. Is it as tightly structured, as innovative, as much of a master class in writing as The Handmaid's Tale is? No. So long as you don't expect another instant classic, you'll really enjoy this, as I did, even if you don't think it necessarily needs to exist.

Oct 29, 2019

Brilliant! A riveting read. Make sure to read or watch The Handmaid's Tale before reading this sequel.

JCLBetM Oct 24, 2019

"The Testaments" stands up to the long wait for a sequel. The separate story lines unearth a broader and deeper understanding of what "The Handmaid's Tale" introduced. Atwood expertly weaves the pieces together (a bit like Aunt Lydia) and keeps testing your emotions and values--Do I like this person or not? Is this a good or bad person? What is the right thing do? Where is the grey in all this?

AshleyF2008 Oct 22, 2019

This is only the second Margaret Atwood book I've read, the first being Handmaid's Tale. I've also watched seasons 1 and 2 of the Hulu series.

I found it interesting that the book references the show in some ways, though it can still be followed without watching first. The beginning provided a much-needed backstory for characters like Aunt Lydia and perspectives which supported Gilead's mission as well. However, the latter half covered a longer span of time and the same level of detail was missing. Atwood possesses a depth of skill to her writing that can be appreciated both on the surface and for the meaning behind her words. Enjoyable and well-worth a read.

Oct 22, 2019

In my opinion, the book is a waste of time. I don't understand how this book could co-win the Booker Prize.

JessicaGma Oct 22, 2019

An exceptional sequel to a legendary book. I wasn't sure if the Handmaid's Tale needed a sequel, but the Testaments lived up to the source material, and provided that comeuppance you wanted o badly when reading the first one. It was deftly plotted with good characters, and still keeps you with that unsettling feeling that this could still happen here....

Oct 22, 2019

An easy wrap up to Atwood's Gilead work. Three main characters assemble the necessary crew to cross borders and infiltrate the patriarchal realm of Gilead in order to affect its demise. It comes with risk, courage, and danger.

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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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