Testaments (Atwood) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
[A] compelling sequel…. It’s a contrived and heavily stage-managed premise—but… Atwood’s sheer assurance as a storyteller makes for a fast, immersive narrative that’s as propulsive as it is melodramatic.… The Testaments… is less an expose of the hellscape [of] Gilead than a young girl’s chronicle…. Atwood seems to be suggesting [that rebels] 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… or helping ensure the truth of the historical record.
Michiko Kakutani -  New York Times
 

[A]an entirely different novel in form and tone. Inevitably, the details are less shocking… [and] not nearly the devastating satire of political and theological misogyny that The Handmaid’s Tale is. In this new novel, Atwood is far more focused on creating a brisk thriller than she is on exploring the perversity of systemic repression.
Ron Charles - Washington Post


[Atwood} is interested not in how people become degraded, as objects…, but how they became morally compromised…. The first book was good on the envy between women, when they have no power; The Testaments looks at collaboration—another vice of the oppressed…. The Testaments is Atwood at her best, in its mixture of generosity, insight and control. The prose is adroit, direct, beautifully turned.
Anne Engright - Guardian (UK)
 

Margaret Atwood’s powers are on full display…. Illicit sex, of course, in this republic founded on sexual control, leads to the complicated, fascinating plot of The Testaments…. Atwood’s braided storyline leads to the best parts of the novel, the conversations between girls and women…. Everyone should read The Testaments and consider the true desires of human nature.
Los Angeles Times


orthy of the literary classic it continues. That’s thanks in part to Atwood’s capacity to surprise, even writing in a universe we think we know so well.
USA Today


[A] plot-driven page turner… [though] this Gilead isn't—and can't possibly be—as fresh and mind-blowing as it was to readers in 1985, but… [it] continue[s] to surprise us…. Testaments is more than 400 pages, but [it is] fast and even thrilling…. The joy of the book isn't in the plot twists but in seeing these women hammer away at the foundations of Gilead
NPR


(Starred review) Atwood's confident, magnetic sequel to The Handmaid's Tale… 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. [E]minently rewarding sequel.
Publishers Weekly


Whatever happened to Offred after the close of Atwood's iconic The Handmaid's Tale? In this talk-of-the-town sequel, we find out. Taking place 15 years later, the narrative is shaped by the testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
Library Journal


[W]hat Atwood left unsaid in the first novel generated more horror and outrage than explicit detail can.… 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.
Kirkus Reviews

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