This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's…

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale (edition 2019)

by Margaret Atwood (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7923117,933 (4.28)66
"In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades. When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead."--provided by publisher.… (more)
Title:The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale
Authors:Margaret Atwood (Author)
Info:Nan A. Talese (2019), Edition: First Edition, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

  1. 00
    Abigail by Magda Szabó (Dilara86)
    Dilara86: One is speculative fiction, the other isn't, but they both take place in a girls-only school at a time of war/unrest and describe female microcosms, friendships between teenage girls and ambiguous authority figures.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 66 mentions

English (26)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
This book has had a lot of advance hype. I am happy to say that I feel it lived up to that and more. As a follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale it answers a lot of questions and as a stand alone novel about the rise and fall of totalitarian regimes it is a hopeful beacon.

The Testaments are the stories of three women associated with Gilead, the misogynistic, totalitarian regime instituted within the United States of America at some future time. Aunt Lydia (who we also met in The Handmaid's Tale) writes about her initial arrest and incarceration and her decision to support the male regime. Daisy is a teenager who grew up in Canada but she is actually Baby Nicole who was smuggled out of Gilead. Daisy only learned that she was Baby Nicole when she turned 16. The third witness is Agnes Jemima, a young girl who grew up in Gilead as the daughter of a Commander and his wife Tabitha. She is being groomed to become a wife. Although she goes to school she does not know how to read; mostly they do needlepoint which Agnes is not very good at.

In time these three people meet. It would destroy a good part of the plot to describe much more but since Atwood herself has said that this book answers the question about how Gilead fell I think I can say that they were involved with the ultimate fate of Gilead.

Just as in The Handmaid's Tale the epilogue is styled as a presentation to a conference and here we get a little glimpse at Atwood's sly humour. Anyone who has ever attended a conference will recognize the setting and then they will understand how Atwood skewers experts and academia who take themselves too seriously.

Truly a great read. ( )
  gypsysmom | Oct 14, 2019 |
The Testaments is a tale told from the points of view of various characters, one at a time, who bring this novel to life, turbulently so. Only a master writer could bring that off, but Atwood is up to the challenge. On page 73, it does mention that the character Agnes is given a black dress. Later, on page 159, Atwood states that Agnes must take off her school uniform to be measured for a new dress, since she has no other dresses except for a white dress she wears to church. So, does Agnes still have that black dress, or not? It's not clear ... a very minor point, however. The finding that only one unclear point arises in a 415-page epic novel, however, causes me to feel that I should remove my hat in respect. Given the novel's subject matter, I especially appreciated its sub-theme of the nature of love. ( )
  MaureenRoy | Oct 12, 2019 |
So many thoughts, but most of them are about the comparison between this one and its predecessor, The Handmaid's Tale. It's easier to compare when you read them back to back, right? I liked the first one best. Though The Testaments has a lot of techniques that I usually enjoy (multiple perspectives, a bit of a puzzle to be figured out, etc.), I found myself less curious about the story, less bought in, than I was with Handmaid's. And again, that Symposium at the end sucked me in more than anything else I had read. Why is that? Mixed feelings, glad to gave read it, would recommend to some but not all.
  justagirlwithabook | Oct 12, 2019 |
Hugely hyped, wonderfully executed. This follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale is told from three points of view 15 years later. Aunt Lydia‘s and two other characters, whose pasts unfold as the story progresses. I loved the choices of which characters she highlights and felt the ending was completely satisfying. It took me a short time to get into it, but the audiobook is so well done that I found myself trying to find extra time to listen. ( )
2 vote bookworm12 | Oct 9, 2019 |
Now that the final chapters have been told in The Testaments, I pause to wonder what changed for me in the past 10 years since I first read The Handmaid's Tale? I knew Atwood was a wonderful writer - I thought The Blind Assassin was great story and very well written - but, for I don't know what reason, The Handmaid's Tale just didn't click with me.
Now, I've just finished The Testaments and was drawn into the story from page one. It just clicked and I wonder how I had missed the sharp narrative and wit that alluded me in The Handmaid's Tale . Surely, it must be there too!
Readers of The Handmaid's Tale had years and years to stew about what came after and with The Testaments, Atwood provides what may or may not work for today's readers but for this one, it did and a reread of Handmaid's Tale is a must for me. ( )
  Carmenere | Oct 9, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
[...] Where Atwood's interests do undeniably lie is in shaking us up, challenging our complacencies and using her chillingly profound imagination to challenge us to think and rethink, to see our volatile and increasingly toxic world anew. But is she willing to leave room for her reader? I have my own test of what makes a truly great work of fiction: can you revisit it at a later point in your life and read a whole different novel? In other words, is the novel sufficiently elastic – and slippery and enigmatic – to grow with you?

The Handmaid's Tale triumphantly passes this test. But occasionally, with its wide-angle sweep and wholehearted lack of uncertainty, its angels and demons struggle and seemingly effortless resolutions, The Testaments can feel as if it's already decided what it thinks. And what we should think, too.
added by Cynfelyn | editThe Guardian, Julie Myerson (Sep 15, 2019)
Atwood's eminently rewarding sequel revels in the energy of youth, the shrewdness of old age, and the vulnerabilities of repressive regimes.
added by rretzler | editPublishers Weekly (starred review) (pay site) (Sep 9, 2019)
It’s hard, of course, to compete with a beloved classic, so maybe the best way to read this new book is to forget about The Handmaid’s Tale and enjoy it as an artful feminist thriller.
added by rretzler | editKirkus Reivews (pay site) (Sep 4, 2019)
Agency and strength, Atwood seems to be suggesting, do not require a heroine with the visionary gifts of Joan of Arc, or the ninja skills of a Katniss Everdeen or Lisbeth Salander — there are other ways of defying tyranny, participating in the resistance or helping ensure the truth of the historical record. The very act of writing or recording one’s experiences, Atwood argues, is “an act of hope.” Like messages placed in bottles tossed into the sea, witness testimonies count on someone, somewhere, being there to read their words [...]
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
“Every woman is supposed to have the same set of motives, or else to be a monster.” —GEORGE ELIOT, DANIEL DERONDA
“When we look one another in the face, we’re neither of us just looking at a face we hate—no, we’re gazing into a mirror….Do you really not recognize yourselves in us…?” —OBERSTURMBANNFÜHRER LISS TO OLD BOLSHEVIK MOSTOVSKOY, VASILY GROSSMAN, LIFE AND FATE
“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake….It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one.” —URSULA K. LE GUIN, THE TOMBS OF ATUAN
First words
Only dead people are allowed to have statues, but I have been given one while still alive.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.28)
1 1
2 2
2.5 2
3 13
3.5 11
4 32
4.5 18
5 57

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 138,732,421 books! | Top bar: Always visible