Under his eye
As you may have read in the previous review, I loved Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I was so excited for The Testaments! I couldn’t wait to read it. Did I enjoy this sequel just as much? Find out in the review!
The book cover
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.
My first impression
This is an interesting format! You read testaments of several women living inside and outside of Gilead. I can quickly predict where the story is leading to, but that doesn’t matter too much. I am intrigued and I really want to read more.
The Testaments starts 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale. Gilead is obsessed with baby Nicole and finding her back. She has become a symbol to the Gilead society. Baby Nicole is the only storyline in the book derived from the tv series and a thread throughout this story.
The story is narrated by three women: Aunt Lydia herself, Daisy — a Canadian girl and Agnes, a young girl who is being prepared to get married. The book slowly unravels whether there is a connection to these three women/girls or not.
This book gives a deeper look inside Gilead’s inner workings. From Aunt Lydia’s back story to how things are settled with the Commanders to how a young girl experiences the insane expectations of her. The resistance (Mayday) is also alive and kicking and there is even a mole within Gilead’s higher echolons.
This book really is a pageturner. The Testaments feels more like the tv series than The Handmaid’s Tale book in my opinion. It provides more background on the characters and Gilead itself. For example, I really like that Aunt Lydia is a more complex character than you first assume. The other two characters are cleverly written as well, just wait for the plot twists!
Conclusion of The testaments
This book is a must-read for anyone who read The Handmaid’s tale or watched the tv series. For the people interested, it is very satisfying to finally have some of the questions answered about Gilead and the characters of the story!
Be prepared for both the good and the dark side of society/humanity. But what else would you expect?