The Testaments

The Testaments

Book - 2019
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE

LONGLISTED FOR THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

Margaret Atwood's dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale, has become a modern classic--and 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.

"The literary event of the year." -- The Guardian

"The international literary event of the season." -- Globe and Mail

"It's terrifying and exhilarating." --Judges of the Booker Prize 2019
Publisher: Toronto :, McClelland & Stewart,, 2019
ISBN: 9780771009433
Branch Call Number: EXPRESS
Characteristics: x, 419 pages ;,24 cm

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t
trickbag22
Sep 22, 2019

Superb is all I can say

m
MiRiAm12345
Sep 22, 2019

Action packed must read for anyone who appreciated "The Handmaid's Tale". Now we hear more about Gilead through the eyes of an Aunt, a Daughter, and a Canadian. If Ms. Atwood is thinking of telling us the story of the founding of this dark republic thru the eyes of the Commanders, or the Eyes, she shouldn't wait another 30 years to publish. On the other hand virtually every male in this book is evil or useless, maybe Atwood has nothing to write sharing their voices.

s
SidheWrites
Sep 20, 2019

Although I was familiar with the story (thanks to the 1990 film adaptation staring Natasha Richardson as Offred), I hadn't read "The Handmaid's Tale " until right after the 2016 presidential election in the US. Like so many others, I was impacted by the story in a way that I don't think I would have been had I read it even six months sooner.

This book is written like a diary from the perspective of three very different women whose lives are forever change by the events in Gilead. We learn how the Aunts came to be and that their own journeys were not without suffering. We are shown how easily it is to buy into a mythology perpetuated by those in power and kept in place through the use of fear. We learn how very easily we can all lose our personal power, simply by accepting our circumstances as they are and not challenging those in power while we still have the opportunity.

What is important to remember is that Margaret Atwood drew from actual global events to create Gilead and that makes it even more frightening.

m
MARY ANN NYBERG
Sep 19, 2019

A wonderful book! A great sequel...! Enjoyed it immensely.

u
uncommonreader
Sep 19, 2019

I liked Atwood's message - that it is always important and worthwhile to resist oppression and to be an activist. The book ends on a hopeful note.

t
taralei
Sep 19, 2019

" Who can fathom the human soul?
Well, Ms. Atwood can. Her dystopian masterpiece was penned many decades ago, and her dire predictions of our future in North America have come to fruition in a world that is now ruled by a despot who encourages the basest and most ugly urges in humanity. Ms. Atwood has had over thirty years to see the creation of a war against women, a world in which women have little recourse and fewer options. The interplay of the three women's stories, their testaments to the regime are interconnected through their bloodlines, and the value of sisterhood and female solidarity. The feminine voice is outlined here, the book makes us examine what it means to be a mother, that bloodlines are not the important part of motherhood, it is the love that a woman and her child share that validates the relationship. The world they are inhabiting does not allow them to pursue knowledge, as reading is said to lead to disturbing thoughts of freedom. The explicit abuse of women in the modern age, the open warfare on female rights to their bodies, sexual abuse, violence towards women... it is a war, and one we are not winning. GIlead has to be deconstructed from within, and as Atwood points out, all regimes fall. In these testaments, we find the inevitable idea that religion and state must be kept separated, as the control of the religious right is at the core of the war on women. A patriarchal right will keep women dominated and without a voice, and unchecked, this marriage between religion and state will create a Gilead where the voices of women will be hushed. As Becka says., " You can love Gilead, or you can love God. You cannot love both".

j
jorocks
Sep 17, 2019

Reads like a YA novel. If you loved Handmaid's Tale, don't waste your time. Total rubbish. I can't believe this has been nominated for a Giller.

l
Lady_Librarian
Sep 17, 2019

While this was a very easy read it was also incredibly underwhelming. I enjoyed reading "The Handmaid's Tale" and I love the TV series. I was hoping this story would bring more to the story arc of Gilead but it felt like an unnecessary addition. I would say the first half of the book was a 4 star read for me but the end felt very rushed and uneven. Maybe bigger Atwood fans would get more out of this book than I did.

STPL_STEPHANIE Sep 16, 2019

The intertwining of narrators was an excellent way to tell this story. It was a good follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale. I was fascinated by the more in-depth exploration of Gilead and it's myriad evils.

l
LucasHill
Sep 16, 2019

There was something lacking, but it wasn't Offred or her future. I wasn't taken in by the story as much as I had by The Handmaid's Tale. Perhaps I felt that her uncertain future at the end of that story was enough. Gilead, like other totalitarian states, commits atrocities, and it's enough to know that lesson.

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