The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is Book 2 in The Handmaid’s Tale. Book 1 had a voice that drew me in and kept me spellbound. Book 2 has a different voice, which I readily accepted because different characters tell the story.
I read some bad reviews before reading Book 2. Terrible reviews. However, I must disagree with them. The Testaments revisit some well-known characters and introduces new ones. It provides more back story and fills in blanks left at the end of Book 1.
For me, the book beckoned me back to it during the hours that I could not return to Gilead. Surprisingly, I identified with the story because of what’s happening in the world right now (COVID-19).
I guess, for me, Book 1 felt as it if was seeing Gilead from the inside, leaving me feeling oppressed and worthless. Offred had no hope and surrounded the reader, me, with that same feeling. The words must be powerful to have that effect.
However, Book 2 felt as if it saw Gilead from the outside looking in. By this, I mean we approach the story from a different angle. We see how a person can appear mean and nasty but are fighting the fight behind closed doors. We witness Gilead official’s weaknesses and their enemies. And, like in every down-trodden era, we discover brave people who are willing to stand and fight against the powers of the world.
What I’m trying to say is that Book 1 took hope away and Book 2 gives it back.
Personally, I think both books are brilliant, and I highly recommend both of them.