The Testaments is a very good book.
I haven’t had much sleep with all this excitement and I’m not very coherent but here’s what you need to know …
Yes, this is an incredibly good book, one that’s more than worthy of your readership. It does not, in any way, ruin The Handmaid’s Tale – it compliments it.
One of the biggest doubts about this immensely hyped-up new book was that Margaret Atwood might be leveraging the popularity of the TV-adapted world of Gilead to speak to issues that weren’t at the core of the original novel. This is not the case.
Like its precursor, The Testaments is a superbly articulated speculation on the means by which a modern society could regress into totalitarian theocracy. Atwood vividly imagines how women could survive in this world of extreme misogyny, how they could be transformed into its custodians and enforcers.
The Testaments does not continue the action from moment Offred gets into a van at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale. Instead, it takes you to a time 15 years later, when three women are separately narrating their experiences from inside and outside of Gilead. Readers of the extract released over the weekend will have learned that one of these women is an ageing Aunt Lydia – going inside her interior world of power, secrets and moral distress is frighteningly addictive. I have the bags under my eyes to prove it.
That’s all I’m going to say for now. If you’re on the fence about reading this book, get off it. Don’t wait for water-cooler conversations to turn this story stale. Go get swept up in it for yourself. It’s worthy of its Booker listing and its worthy of you splashing a few dollars for the beautiful hardcover edition.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale
In this electrifying sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood answers the question that has tantalised readers for decades: What happened to Offred?
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...
About the Contributor
Ben is Booktopia's dedicated fiction and children's book specialist. He spends his days painstakingly piecing together beautiful catalogue pages and gift guides for the website. At any opportunity, he loves to write warmly of the books that inspire him. If you want to talk books, find him tweeting at @itsbenhunter