The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
There aren’t many books that I’ve almost died reading. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is it. As I crossed the street outside of Old Street station, turning onto the final page, I actually stopped in the middle of the road to catch my breath — and then quickly realised I better get the hell out of the way so as to avoid the motorbike hurtling in my direction.
Near misses aside, good gracious how I adored this book. A sequel to one of my favourite novels of all time but written a whopping thirty-four years later, The Testaments takes us back to fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, after Offred headed off into pastures unknown.
I, for one, couldn’t wait to return to Gilead (I mean, if my outfit in the above doesn’t convey it, I don’t know what will ). Told from three different perspectives; Lydia, Agnes and Daisy, at times it reads like the most gripping of thrillers. And, with Attwood’s magnificent prose, I was ready to devour it.
I was open to The Testaments from the moment I started reading but I know that many felt this was a book for the fans. A book that was born because of the renewed interest in Offred’s world (read: an enormously popular TV series). Whether it was or whether it wasn’t, to be honest, that didn’t matter to me. This book gave me everything I wanted and more — a story that offers so much on SO many levels, unforgettable characters crafted like art, haunting and lyrical prose of utter magic and an ending that was so good, it nearly finished me off.
Margaret, imho, you’re the absolute best there is.
~ Sophie aka Ofdavid