The Testaments - Margaret Atwood

Reading Challenge Category: A book everyone is talking about

Official Blurb:

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a modern classic. Now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel.
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 voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.
As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she 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.
‘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.' Margaret Atwood

My Thoughts:

I was in two minds about reading this book. On the one hand, I really wanted to see what direction it would go in. On the other, I wasn’t looking forward to it as I hadn’t really enjoyed the writing style of the first book. I have definitely enjoyed the TV series much more than I did the book so I was worried that I would get stuck trudging through a 400-page book that I wasn’t really enjoying.
I didn’t need to be worried, though, I literally couldn’t put this down. My husband even commented that this book had gripped me as I was picking it up at every given opportunity, and I’ve not had a book do that to me for what feels like ages.
The writing style was much easier to read than in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, and even though a few things are left unsaid, you do feel as if you are getting more of the bigger picture story. I thought during the first book that I didn’t really know what was going on. Why they were in this situation or how it had come about. It was just about the Handmaid, and that was it. In this book, we do get flashbacks to the very beginning. We get multiple points of view and really feel like you are getting the whole story. It was more like I was watching the programme and I felt completely immersed in the story.
There were quite a few bits in the book that have been covered already by the TV series. I wondered if the author had been influenced by what she had watched before writing this or had this been the plan for the story all along? Had they been working together to create the storylines, was this a joint collaboration?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, a million more times better than I’d expected. I’d hoped that it wasn’t just hyped up because of the first one being so acclaimed. It wasn’t; it was the perfect sequel. You don’t get any specific answers that you may have had after the first book. A lot is alluded to and not spelt out for you, but it is certainly easier to fill in the gaps.
I’m so glad I made this book I was to read for the reading challenge category ‘a book everyone is talking about’. Just before I started to read it, I was going to change my choice, but I’m so glad I didn’t. If you have read the first book or watched the TV series, then I definitely recommend this it is worth the read!

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The Testaments
by Margaret Atwood
Date Started
26th June 2020
Date Finished
28th June 2020
Rating
Buy Now on Amazon