“As they say, history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”
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 for her–freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
I was one of the few people who actually wanted a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, I was never satisfied by the ending. I wanted to know all of Offred’s story and although thinking back, it isn’t necessary, it is still nice to finally get some closure.
This book brought an interesting, new perspective on Gilead, from the view of an Aunt (or THE Aunt, Lydia), a teen who lives there and a teen who lives in Canada.
The teen characters gave The Testaments a more ‘lax’ feel. Although this book isn’t really a necessary addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, it definitely is a more ‘enjoyable’ read. The Handmaid’s Tale is a great book, there’s no denying that but it isn’t ‘enjoyable’ – it is quite scary and harrowing at points, especially for women.
I really enjoyed learning more about Gilead, the Aunts etc. It was interesting, I think the world Margaret Atwood created is fascinating. I always wondered what happened to Offred at the ending of The Handmaid’s Tale and how Gilead falls, so I was curious enough to pick this up. I know a lot of people complained that they didn’t want/need a sequel… which is fair enough; simply don’t read it!
I listened to this on audiobook – I am very glad I did. It had a full cast narration, which was really, really good. All the narrators were great to listen to and very engaging.
I really liked the contrast between the two teenagers. They’re both products of their environments and it interesting to see their views and ways of thinking. Especially, the one from Gilead, growing up with the mindset Gilead is good and the outside world is bad etc. It was interesting. The younger perspectives mad the novel feel more relaxed, as I stated earlier, this was more enjoyable than THT, in my opinion.
It wasn’t what I thought it would be, I was pleasantly surprised. There were some good twists, it was well-paced and well written. It’s not the best novel in the world but I can’t fault it either. It was a good read. If/when I reread THT, I would probably reread this too.
Rating: 4 Stars
Have you read The Testaments? What were your thoughts?