Top positive review
Who am I, who was I
September 10, 2019
and where am I going? These are the questions, among others, that are answered in the much hyped sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale”, by Margaret Atwood.
For the first eight chapters, “The Testaments” is a bit labored. Details are laid out almost like a narrative catalogue. Chapter 8 marks the beginning of Atwood magic and for almost 300 pages, you’re drawn into a first person accounting of the events of the past, (during Handmaid’s)the intervening years and the present days of Agnes Jemima. This portion of the book is pure gold and 5⭐️worthy
At chapter 40, the 1st person POV continues but is now voiced by Nicole and takes on a snarky tone. The action for these next 90 pages is kicked up a few notches and the book ends with what seems like resolution and the overall writing in this section is not as engaging as the last section, imo.
This installment of Atwood’s doesn’t require warnings that are as strong as the first one. Violence is not an issue and there is only one very brief sexual encounter with very little description attached. There are references to the duties of a handmaid, but they are fairly obtuse. Language is the only issue that some folks will have a problem with. There are 4-5 f-bombs and a smattering of other expletives 3/10 used for literary accent, not gratuitously.
Closing out this volume are the “historical notes to the 13th symposium”. This is a presented as a list of references and narrative to a symposium board by way of evidence/proof to substantiate the document which is “The Testsments”📚
UPDATE: At the suggestion of two readers, I did look thru this book again to see if my review needed revision and it did in that I’d
assigned POV credit to the wrong character. My apologies, that has been corrected. The remainder of my review stands. It
has been 35 years since “Handmaid’s Tale” and I’ve not watched the Hulu production. My interest was not peaked by
by political application but by human motivation. Why would the Aunts live this way for so long, instruct other young girls
in this lifestyle, not look to escape? What motivates them? Did they find peace or love in God or the religious rites? These
are not easy answers to find in “The Testament” format 📚