Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Testaments

Resolution. Fans of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, have waited decades for the author to continue telling the story. To prepare myself for a return to Gilead, I re-read The Handmaid’s Tale, and am glad I did. I was prepared to open the new novel, The Testaments, with fresh memories. I was delighted that one of the perspectives in the new novel comes from Aunt Lydia. Her insights help readers see Gilead from the inside. As always, Atwood leads readers to think for ourselves. Lydia is more complex than I expected, and she offers an understanding of the power of women in Gilead. We also receive the perspective of Agnes Jemima, born in Gilead as the daughter of a Commander and a Wife. Atwood uses Agnes to help readers understand the expectations placed upon young women in Gilead. The third narrator begins her story outside Gilead, in Toronto, where she gradually understands the truth about her past. Atwood lets readers make up our own minds as we hear these narratives and while there is resolution by the end of the novel, many questions remain. Readers are free to reflect on many levels of meaning structured in this novel and to ponder what it takes to topple a corrupt and immoral regime. Atwood continues to be a keen observer of life and plays the role of messenger to readers about living in our contemporary world and heeding the signs of our times. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase The Testaments from amazon.com.

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