The Testaments

The Testaments

Large Print - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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. 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.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Large Print, [2019]
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780593149096
Branch Call Number: F ATWOOD
Characteristics: xii, 562 pages ; 24 cm
large print


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 20, 2019

Although I was familiar with the story (thanks to the 1990 film adaptation staring Natasha Richardson as Offred), I hadn't read "The Handmaid's Tale " until right after the 2016 presidential election in the US. Like so many others, I was impacted by the story in a way that I don't think I would have been had I read it even six months sooner.

This book is written like a diary from the perspective of three very different women whose lives are forever change by the events in Gilead. We learn how the Aunts came to be and that their own journeys were not without suffering. We are shown how easily it is to buy into a mythology perpetuated by those in power and kept in place through the use of fear. We learn how very easily we can all lose our personal power, simply by accepting our circumstances as they are and not challenging those in power while we still have the opportunity.

What is important to remember is that Margaret Atwood drew from actual global events to create Gilead and that makes it even more frightening.

Sep 19, 2019

A wonderful book! A great sequel...! Enjoyed it immensely.

Sep 19, 2019

I liked Atwood's message - that it is always important and worthwhile to resist oppression and to be an activist. The book ends on a hopeful note.

Sep 19, 2019

" Who can fathom the human soul?
Well, Ms. Atwood can. Her dystopian masterpiece was penned many decades ago, and her dire predictions of our future in North America have come to fruition in a world that is now ruled by a despot who encourages the basest and most ugly urges in humanity. Ms. Atwood has had over thirty years to see the creation of a war against women, a world in which women have little recourse and fewer options. The interplay of the three women's stories, their testaments to the regime are interconnected through their bloodlines, and the value of sisterhood and female solidarity. The feminine voice is outlined here, the book makes us examine what it means to be a mother, that bloodlines are not the important part of motherhood, it is the love that a woman and her child share that validates the relationship. The world they are inhabiting does not allow them to pursue knowledge, as reading is said to lead to disturbing thoughts of freedom. The explicit abuse of women in the modern age, the open warfare on female rights to their bodies, sexual abuse, violence towards women... it is a war, and one we are not winning. GIlead has to be deconstructed from within, and as Atwood points out, all regimes fall. In these testaments, we find the inevitable idea that religion and state must be kept separated, as the control of the religious right is at the core of the war on women. A patriarchal right will keep women dominated and without a voice, and unchecked, this marriage between religion and state will create a Gilead where the voices of women will be hushed. As Becka says., " You can love Gilead, or you can love God. You cannot love both".

Sep 17, 2019

Reads like a YA novel. If you loved Handmaid's Tale, don't waste your time. Total rubbish. I can't believe this has been nominated for a Giller.

Sep 17, 2019

While this was a very easy read it was also incredibly underwhelming. I enjoyed reading "The Handmaid's Tale" and I love the TV series. I was hoping this story would bring more to the story arc of Gilead but it felt like an unnecessary addition. I would say the first half of the book was a 4 star read for me but the end felt very rushed and uneven. Maybe bigger Atwood fans would get more out of this book than I did.


The intertwining of narrators was an excellent way to tell this story. It was a good follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale. I was fascinated by the more in-depth exploration of Gilead and it's myriad evils.

Sep 16, 2019

There was something lacking, but it wasn't Offred or her future. I wasn't taken in by the story as much as I had by The Handmaid's Tale. Perhaps I felt that her uncertain future at the end of that story was enough. Gilead, like other totalitarian states, commits atrocities, and it's enough to know that lesson.

Sep 16, 2019

I don't want to star-rate this. Suffice it to say that despite Atwood's signature crystalline prose, The Testaments is unnecessary as an extension of The Handmaid's Tale and is, in fact, taking away from the power of the original novel. I enjoyed the writing so far, but don't need to finish this. *shrug*

Sep 15, 2019

I couldn’t put it down. This is the fastest that I have ever been able to read a Margaret Atwood book, and maybe that is my problem with it. It reads more like an action novel, and less like a classic Margaret Atwood book: while it still has her poetic style, it is not as dense or intellectual as I am used to from her. It dedicates more to plot, less to creating mood.
It is a swashbuckling, nail biting adventure, beautifully written. It is not a moody mysterious cerebral story like the Handmaid’s Tale.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCPL

To Top