BookBrowse Reviews The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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The Testaments

by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood X
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2019, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2020, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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Margaret Atwood's The Testaments returns to the Republic of Gilead first envisioned in The Handmaid's Tale. Whereas her 1985 work examined how totalitarian regimes gain control; here, she explores how they fail.

The Handmaid's Tale is narrated by Offred (known by no other name throughout the book, although the popular Hulu series gives her the moniker "June") and ends with the heroine getting into a black van, fate unknown. Although many readers had hoped for a continuation of this compelling woman's story, in The Testaments the author (probably wisely) chooses to continue Gilead's story 15 years after the events in the earlier book, employing three different female narrators. Two of these are teenagers, one raised within the male-dominated Gilead to be an obedient Wife, the other raised in Toronto, Canada, learning to hate the system created by her neighbors to the south. The third woman will be familiar to Atwood's readers and fans of the TV series: the formidable Aunt Lydia, who runs the Red Center, where she indoctrinates young women into becoming submissive Handmaids, enslaved fertile women...

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