** WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019 **
** SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
BOOK OF THE YEAR: Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Stylist, Sunday Times, Financial Times, Guardian, The Times, Observer, Red
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
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I am so pleased I gave this a chance. I had not watched the series or really even heard of it. I was listening to a podcast one day which mentioned the sequel, The Testament, and it took my interest. I completely understand now why so many have begged for the sequel! What a brilliant and sobering read.
Excellent sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale. Loved it!
I’m sure Margaret Atwood would not appreciate fictitious words to describe her latest novel, but it works for me!
Can’t recall the last time I read a book in a week but the plot, structure and her wonderful writing style kept me hooked. I read The Handmaids Tale at school almost twenty years ago, have thoroughly enjoyed the TV series and this hasn’t disappointed.
Occasionally a bit difficult to identify whose perspective each chapter is written from, but that aside it’s a great book, with some superb character development and an even more detailed portrayal of Gilead.
Definitely worth while, even if it creeps me out that this could one day be a reality or to some extent already is in certain parts of the world!