BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Insightful,
Dark,
Adventurous

2 reviews

The Testaments: A Novel
by Margaret Atwood

Published: 2019-09-10
Hardcover : 432 pages
33 members reading this now
75 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE

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.


More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic ...
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE

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.


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.
 
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.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

1. Clothes play a dual role in the novel. They signal life stages as well as status and class: the pink, white and plum dresses worn by “special girls”; the drab prison-like stripes of the Econofamilies; and the green dresses of the betrothed girls. Did this aspect of the novel strike you as odd? Or is it actually not very different from our own obsession with brands and logos that convey a certain level of wealth and status?

2. Aunt Lydia tells us that Gilead actually has “an embarrassingly high emigration rate.” Can those who manage to leave Gilead ever truly “escape”?

3. Daisy/Jade is, to say the least, a reluctant revolutionary. But if you were her age and were asked to absorb all of the shocking information she has to process in a very short period of time, would you have reacted any differently?

4. After Agnes is assaulted, she recalls other girls who reported such incidents having been told that “nice girls did not notice the minor antics of men, they simply looked the other way,” which is a troubling parallel between Gilead and reality. Do you think there will ever come a time when women will feel unashamed to peak out when they are sexually assaulted? Or has this time already arrived in the age of #MeToo?

5. When Aunt Lydia dons the garb of the female stadium shooters, she says, “I felt a chill. I put it on. What else should I have done?” What would you have done?

6. Agnes’ interpretation of “Dick and Jane” showcases Margaret Atwood’s trademark wit, but there is more to it than that. Discuss the ways in which the author cleverly builds the sense of suspicion and fear that informs the way Agnes processes the events in her life at Ardua Hall.

7. Several references are made to shortages of basic necessities such as food and electricity. Birth defects and juvenile cancer also seem to plague Gilead. What do you think has caused this? Possibly environmental issues? Or the ongoing war?

8. Agnes considers her admittance to Hildegard Library to be a “golden key” that will reveal “the riches that lay within.” But it is here that she learns the truth about the Concubine Cut into Twelve Pieces, as well as the truth about her half-sister. Is there any book that provided you with a similar pivotal and eye-opening experience?

9. When Aunt Lydia relays the Aesop’s Fables story of Fox and Cat, she reveals much about her survival skills. Which are you --- Fox or Cat?

10. Did the book inspire you to take action so that Gilead remains fiction? Did you perhaps become more active in local politics or make a charitable donation to an organization that supports women’s rights?

11. The conclusion of THE HANDMAID’S TALE left readers with many tantalizing questions. Which of your questions were answered by THE TESTAMENTS? Which were not?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by [email protected] (see profile) 01/07/20

Blatant

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 12/31/19

Brilliant sequel that does not let down. Atwood is economical with her words and provides evocatively different viewpoints from the Gilead. I’m not sure how much I would have enjoyed this book if I hadnt... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...