“All that was necessary was a law degree and a uterus: a lethal combination.”Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
The much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood takes place 15 years after the original story. We’re taken back to the time of Gilead following the first-hand story of three women living during its reign.
It took me a while to put my thoughts down on paper. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite books of all time so to finally get a sequel was an exciting moment for me. I don’t usually love multiple points of view stories but I really enjoyed how this was written from three very different perspectives. Then seeing how the three intertwined. It gives you insight into how some of the different roles in Gilead really operate, not just from a handmaid’s perspective.
I thought it was really interesting that Aunt Lydia was the true common character between the books and not Offred. At first, I was a little upset it wasn’t following Offred but after I got used to it, I didn’t want to put it down. You get a really great story of what happened to Aunt Lydia before Gilead that we don’t get in The Handmaids Tale and it was so interesting. Not what I expected at all!
If you watch the show, the show is very different. I’m curious to see if they will end the same way. I have such a “book hangover” from this one. I finished it on a plane with some time in the air left to spare and I could hardly pick up my next read. Do you need to read The Handmaids Tale first? Yes. There is a lot of background information in the first book that you need to fully grasp the second. Plus, it’s amazing, so why wouldn’t you want to read it? If you read The Handmaid’s Tale and feel like you need “closure,” don’t get your hopes up. While I do feel some sense of closure, I don’t feel like Atwood really tied up all the loose knots. Regardless, I definitely recommend picking this one up!