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THE NUMBER 1 BESTSELLER AND WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE
'The Testaments is Atwood at her best . . . To read this book is to feel the world turning' Anne Enright
The Republic of Gilead is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, two girls with radically different experiences of the regime come face to face with the legendary, ruthless Aunt Lydia. But how far will each go for what she believes?
Now with additional material: book club discussion points and an interview with Margaret Atwood about the real-life events that inspired The Testaments and The Handmaid's Tale.
PRAISE FOR THE TESTAMENTS:
'Everything The Handmaid's Tale fans wanted and more. Prepare to hold your breath throughout, and to cry real tears at the end' Stylist
'Atwood challenges us constantly and poses the question that lies like a pearl inside the shell of this frighteningly readable novel, "Before you sit in judgement, how would you behave in Gilead?''' Sunday Telegraph
'She manages to write about the darkest and most terrifying parts of human psychology in a way that is still deeply funny and full of dark strange hope' Naomi Alderman, author of The Power
'A plump, pacy, witty and tightly plotted page-turner... Atwood is on top form' Observer
'She is one of the greatest writers of the past century' Sunday Times
'How did she manage to make darkness feel so effortless? How did she think to inject humour where no humour should exist? Because she's Margaret Atwood, and she can do anything' Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Margaret Atwood’s feverishly anticipated sequel to her 1985 bestseller, The Handmaid’s Tale, is an absolute triumph. The novel takes us back to Gilead, the theocratic hellscape where women are property and reproduction is the highest calling. Trouble is afoot, and Atwood provides three guides to help us navigate the upheaval: Aunt Lydia, whose regrets colour her memoirlike narrative, and two young women whose fates intersect in an unexpected and gratifying way. Atwood’s storytelling prowess is on full display here, as is her sharp eye for witty cultural references: Each evening, Aunt Lydia visits the Schlafly Café for a soothing cup of warm milk. Exhilarating and hugely satisfying, The Testaments was 35 years in the making—and well worth the wait.
Atwood's confident, magnetic sequel to The Handmaid's Tale details the beginning of the end for Gilead, the authoritarian religion-touting dystopia where fertile single women (handmaids) live in sexual servitude. The novel opens in New England 15 years after the first novel ends. Aunt Lydia has become a renowned educator, an ally of Gilead's spy chief, and an archivist for Gilead's secrets. Ensconced in her library, Aunt Lydia recalls how she went from prisoner to collaborator during Gilead's early days. Now she is old and dying and ready for revenge. Her plan involves two teenagers. Gilead native Agnes Jemima is almost 13 when she learns her real mother was a runaway handmaid. Rather than marry, Agnes Jemima becomes an aunt-in-training. Sixteen-year-old Daisy in Toronto discovers she is the daughter of a runaway handmaid after the people she thought were her parents die in an explosion. Aunt Lydia brings the girls together under her tutelage, then sends them off to try to escape with Gilead's secrets. Since publication, The Handmaid's Tale has appeared as a movie, graphic novel, and popular miniseries. Atwood does not dwell on the franchise or current politics. Instead, she explores favorite themes of sisterhood, options for the disempowered, and freedom's irresistible draw. Atwood's eminently rewarding sequel revels in the energy of youth, the shrewdness of old age, and the vulnerabilities of repressive regimes.