Book Reviews

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – Book Review

  • Author: Margaret Atwood
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (10 September 2019)
  • Language: English

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In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades. 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.

Book Review (1)

Award-winning books always intrigue the readers’ community and why won’t they? After all, they are believed to be the best of the books. Is it? Well, The Testaments recently won The Man Booker Prize 2019 and I am trying to digest why behind it? Is the book really not worthy or something’s wrong with my understanding?

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is the sequel to the famous books of all times, The Handmaid’s Tale. The book contains the stories, the POVs of three different women related to the contemptuous place of Gilead. They are Aunt Lydia, Agnes, and Daisy/ Jade. The stories behind Agnes choosing to become an Aunt, Aunt Lydia bringing the downfall of Gilead, and Jade’s identity were interesting. The three women, each narrating their part, is good but I personally loved Aunt Lydia’s the most. Her narration is poised and brings out a literary quality while that of Agnes is okay-ish and Jade’s bland.

With extreme misogyny pervading Gilead, it is interesting to see how the author would take the story set in THT forward in The Testaments. I wouldn’t say that the book fell flat for me but it really didn’t go well either. I picked it up to know some naked truths, some dark secrets, some chills and thrills and I was actually disappointed to find none. Although a few points (or should I say a few lines?) felt brilliant in illustrating the negatives of the society, the book in its entirety felt dull to me. The narrative is surprisingly simple, the plotline kind of predictable and hopeful, and the characters good enough though a lesser of them would have been better. The stories of the girls, Agnes and Jade, were closer to young adult and that made me instantly dismiss them while that of Aunt Lydia was more immersive.

For the Atwood and THT fans, it might be a great read. So, one may give it a shot if you really want to see how the author takes forward the plot of THT.


Buy your copy: The Testaments

6 thoughts on “The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – Book Review

  1. WOW!! As an Atwood big-time-fan, I am shocked by your review.
    Obviously, I haven’t read this one yet. You may have saved me the trouble, Hon. Wonder what happened to “our Margaret” on this one?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read the book THT, and honestly speaking did not find it to the expectation as compared to its fame. And then I found this whole series on Netflix, and I think the series is much better that the book itself.
    Now, about TT. I though an apt sequel is one which starts from the point where it ended previously. I haven’t read this one. I have been thinking about reading this but then I came across the Themis series (Trilogy Books) and few other readings. Reading your blog actually discouraged me to read TT. Because if the protagonist of THT is missing in the sequel, then I am sure there is no answer what happened to her. So reading the narratives of three other women, just to get into Gilead at a deeper level is not what I am must enthusiastic about.


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