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The Testaments
2019
Availability
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Aunt Lydia (Female), Educator, Ally of Gilead's spy chief
Agnes Jemima (Female), Becomes an aunt-in-training
Daisy (Female), Daughter of a runaway handmaid
Genre
Fiction
Alternative history
Dystopia
Literary
Psychological
Science fiction
Topics
Slavery
Oppression of women
Women's lives
Self-acceptance
Secrets
Power
Setting
- New England (U.S.)
Time Period
2210 -- 23rd century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Atwood's confident, magnetic sequel to The Handmaid's Tale details the beginning of the end for Gilead, the authoritarian religion-touting dystopia where fertile single women (handmaids) live in sexual servitude. The novel opens in New England 15 years after the first novel ends. Aunt Lydia has become a renowned educator, an ally of Gilead's spy chief, and an archivist for Gilead's secrets. Ensconced in her library, Aunt Lydia recalls how she went from prisoner to collaborator during Gilead's early days. Now she is old and dying and ready for revenge. Her plan involves two teenagers. Gilead native Agnes Jemima is almost 13 when she learns her real mother was a runaway handmaid. Rather than marry, Agnes Jemima becomes an aunt-in-training. Sixteen-year-old Daisy in Toronto discovers she is the daughter of a runaway handmaid after the people she thought were her parents die in an explosion. Aunt Lydia brings the girls together under her tutelage, then sends them off to try to escape with Gilead's secrets. Since publication, The Handmaid's Tale has appeared as a movie, graphic novel, and popular miniseries. Atwood does not dwell on the franchise or current politics. Instead, she explores favorite themes of sisterhood, options for the disempowered, and freedom's irresistible draw. Atwood's eminently rewarding sequel revels in the energy of youth, the shrewdness of old age, and the vulnerabilities of repressive regimes. (Sept.)
Summary
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER<br> <br> SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE<br> <br> Margaret Atwood's dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale, has become a modern classic--and now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel. <br> <br> More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.<br> <br> Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.<br> <br> As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.
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