The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
When I first heard there was a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, I had mixed feelings; I wanted to find out more about the origins of Gilead, but also didn't want the author (to possibly) taint the legacy.
Now that I've read it, I know that both feelings were right. I enjoyed it mostly, but still other things left a bad taste in my mouth.
What I liked:
- finding out more about Aunt Lydia and the Aunts
- learning how Gilead began and some of the backstory
- story told from the perspective of 3 different people: Aunt Lydia through her secret manuscript, and two witnesses
- setting is still in Canada! Go Canada!
What I didn't like:
- how characters were tied together at the end felt a bit contrived
- pacing felt rushed from page 300-407
- Witness 369A(or B) and her weird cool girl manner of speaking
“The inventor of the mirror did few of us any favours: we must have been happier before we knew what we looked like.” – The Testaments
Sometimes it's better to leave the audience with unanswered questions. My GoodReads friend, Amanda, sums it up better than I.
Amanda rated it ★★ “This was such a letdown! I love The Handmaid's Tale...it's unique, shocking, disturbing in all the right ways. This sequel, however, seemed like a typical YA dystopia. The best part of the Handmaid's Tale in my opinion is the ambiguity of the ending, and this whole booked filled in blanks that were more thought-provoking if they were left empty. Whatever new information we learn about Gilead isn't needed. I wonder if this book was written mainly because of the success of the TV show*. “
- She mentions the TV show. I only watched the first season so far, but it is excellent in bringing the world of Gilead to life. I'm not sure how good it is, or isn't in subsequent seasons though.
The main question you'll be asking yourself, should I read it?
Yes and no. If you are the kind of person who must know everything and want to read it for sake of 'completeness' or reading all the books in a series, then give it a go. But if you don't read it, you won't be missing much. You could save yourself a bit of time and just read a plot synopsis to get those burning questions of yours answered.
Rating: ★★ Book #76 in my My 2019 Reading Challenge