The Testaments: Book of the Month (December 2019)

By Megan Thomas

Let’s face it: Margaret Atwood is a superstar. Which doesn’t happen all that often with authors. Between The Handmaid’s Tale as a modern classic as well as the successful TV series, the hype for The Testaments was palpable.

I was a guest blogger leading up to the Cardiff Book Talk Margaret Atwood event earlier this month, in which I deliberate on whether or not I thought it was a worthy Booker Prize winner and the implications of naming two winners – so head to their website if that interests you.

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The Testaments is extremely readable and immersive, there’s no getting away from that. Though I have to say, my favourite part of The Handmaid’s Tale ending is how open-ended it is. It’s the kind of book where, if you had time to dwell on it (which I didn’t because I’m a noob who read them back to back), you would find your mind continuously wandering back to Offred and her tale. Whereas, The Testaments is all about tying up loose ends and answering the questions the first book left hanging. Though I wanted the answers Atwood so graciously gave me, I probably didn’t need them.

Reading them back to back was also a weird experience, because the tone shifts quite dramatically (a given, considering The Handmaid’s Tale was published 9 years before I was born). The literary canon of The Handmaid’s Tale is monumental, though, and I believe people will be reading these books for a very, very long time.

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