The Testaments - Margaret Atwood

The Testaments

By Margaret Atwood

  • Release Date: 2019-09-10
  • Genre: Literary
  • Size: 2.28 MB
Score: 4.5
From 374 Ratings

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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

‘The literary event of the year.’ Guardian

‘A savage and beautiful novel, and it speaks to us today, all around the world, with particular conviction and power… The bar is set particularly high for Atwood and she soars over it’ Peter Florence, Booker Prize Chair of Judges, Guardian


  • Excellent

    By Nalla_2_2
    Loved the book
  • High hopes... fell short.

    By dawnbeasley
    The difficulty of meeting such high expectations, plus the fact that the tv series had already continued the Gilliad story beyond Atwood’s previous book perhaps restricted her scope with this sequel. Loved Aunt Lydia’s story (but noted that Atwood had to make reference to her having been a teacher for a short time, because that was her back story in the tv show, which seems like a strange career move for a Judge). I feel Atwood missed the chance to make Aunt Lydia’s motives a twist at the end. I found the willingness of Nicole’s Canadian guardians to send her across the border and the ease at which she achieved it seemed a bit implausible, and her character development didn’t sit right. I so wanted to love this book but found it predictable and lacking in suspense.
  • Sequel rights

    By rhitc
    3.5 stars Author Much decorated author and Canadian national treasure. She turned 80 this year and lost her long term partner Graeme Gibson, who died. Writes poetry, children’s books, non-fiction, short and long fiction. Best known for her novels, most of which have a feminist bent and fit into the genres of historical fiction or speculative / dystopian fiction . Won the Booker in 2000 for The Blind Assassin, but I think she should have won it for Alias Grace (1996). The Testaments is shortlisted this year. Various of her works have been adapted for stage and screen, most recently the wildly successful TV series based on The Handmaid’s Tale (1986).This is Atwood’s sequel to that ground breaking work. Premise Fifteen years after the events of Handmaid’s Tale, there’s a judicial enquiry into what went wrong with Gilead. If you haven’t heard of Gilead—a Christian based, male dominated, breakaway state in the northeastern USA that is brutally repressive of women—then you must have been living under a rock. The eponymous testaments are part of the evidence presented a the enquiry. Narrative In A Handmaid’s Tale, we hear everything from a single POV: that of a handmaid named Offred. All we hear about is what she sees, which allows Atwood to employ an ambiguous ending, forcing readers to wonder. Here, she seeks to clarify the ambiguity by giving us three POV: an Aunt—they’re like kapos to keep lesser females in line—who was in the original book, a teenage girl who wasn’t but who does rate a mention in the TV series, and another teenage girl who is the daughter of one of the original handmaids. Prose Ms Atwood has always been a superb stylist, and still is. Characters Aunt Lydia was a gem. Three of my stars are for her. The two teenagers had a “Stranger Things” vibe about them that I didn’t much care for. Bottom line I read A Handmaid’s Tale in 1987, and thought it a well constructed feminist take on Orwell’s 1984. I liked Atwood’s later historical novels better, as already noted. Thanks to my wife, I have recently sat through rather more of the TV show than I would have done if left to my own devices. It is my impression that The Testaments is written for the edification of the TV audience, rather than the readers of the original, for which a sequel was unnecessary IMHO. Female readers may be of a different view.
  • The Testaments

    By Kazzican
    While this is a very different read to A Handmaid’s Tale it doesn’t disappoint, although anyone hoping for another book about Handmaids will be left wanting. In her Acknowledgements, Atwood explains that The Testaments was written in response to fans asking, “What happened next? How did Gilead fall?” and to those ends she has served us well, once again proving that she is one of the greatest writers of our time.
  • Beautifully written

    By Colourful colouring
    However the plot develops into more of an action/adventure theme and I feel takes away from the substance of the original story. Absolutely worth a purchase!
  • The Testaments

    By Carol Annette
    Loved this book but a little puzzled by one thing. At the end of The Handmaid's Tale a pregnant Offred was taken by the Eyes, maybe to escape and maybe not, but in this book Baby Nicole was taken from Gilead so was Offred returned to give birth or what? Maybe I read the book too fast and missed the explanation. Anyway a great read.