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I have an mild obsession with the book, The Handmaids Tale, and thus the made for Hulu series based on the novel (Elizabeth Moss SLAYS.) So OF COURSE I scooped up the newly released follow up, The Testaments.
What is this book about?
The Testaments picked up roughly 15 years after The Handmaids Tale ended and follows the lives of three women the most familiar of which to fans being Aunt Lydia. Told in alternating perspectives between Aunt Lydia; Anges, a young women living in Gilead; and Daisy, a young women living in Canada detailing each’s lives living in such vastly differing ways.
Aunt Lydia gives the reader a bit of backstory as to how she fared at the time that The United States was dismantled and Gilead was constructed. She detailed her rise within the Aunts, procuring power along with secrets.
Agnes is the daughter of a powerful commander and while not exactly happy with her lot in life, is content enough to follow the rules. That is until she is betrothed to another high ranking Commander, one who is five times her young age of 13. With the subtle help of Aunt Lydia, Agnes is able to appeal to the Aunts to begin her training as a Supplicant in the hope of one day becoming an Aunt herself.
Daisy lives a normal teenage life in Canada, until the day her parents are blown up in an assassination outside of their second hand clothes store and Daisy is told they were members of an underground resistance movement aimed at destroying Gilead. With the channel of passing information between Canada and Gilead now closed due to her parents deaths, Daisy goes undercover into Gilead to meet the organizations source, acquire the intel that is promised, and make her way back to Canada. Not an easy feat to say the least.
My thoughts about this book
For anyone else who felt left wanting after The Haindmaids Tale book ended, this is the cure. I feel like I finally got some resolution to my “what the hell happened next?!” questions.
While the story was pretty predictable as far as how all these three women were connected, their separate (and eventual combined) plot lines gave me all the feels. I oscillated between anger, indignation, hope, sadness, and sentimentality over the course of the novel. Atwood has an uncanny ability to really capture the human struggle, and societal issues in a way that is so very relevant and engaging.
A final thought
As an intended dystopian novel, the parallels to the current political climate were once again spot on, and thus frighting considering the implications and the world some of these mainstream ideas shaped into Gilead. It was unnerving at times.
Overall cannot recommend this one enough to my followers. I was absolutely addicted from page one and will for sure find a spot on my year end recap of favorite reads.
Until next week!