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BOOK REVIEW - The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Firstly, a confession to make, I have never read The Handmaid's Tale. Awful, I know, I am a huge disappointment. So, I come to this book as a fan of the television series and not really knowing what to expect. Obviously I had got to know the story and characters through my TV screen so I already had an image in my head of what people looked like and their mannerisms and actually this really helped me properly visualise the story.

The Testaments takes us back to Gilead, continuing a few years after The Handmaid's Tale. The story revolves around three female characters - Aunt Lydia, Agnes and Daisy - and through each chapter you learn and piece together a bit more about each one. The chapters are written as the point of view of each woman, one as a manuscript and the other two as testimonies, very cleverly done as the tone and language changes for each one so further differentiates between them.

As a viewer of the series, to learn more of Aunt Lydia's back story was really interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing if this will be included in future episodes. Of the three females, she was definitely the one I was the most interested and invested in and certainly made me think about the character differently. Whilst the stories for the other two women were interesting, I'd figured out early on who they were and how they were linked.

I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, but I absolutely loved it. As the chapters went on I just had to keep reading - another unputdownable read for me. I wonder if I had read The Handmaid's Tale beforehand if I would have liked it as much as I did, as companion to the TV series it was great but I do really need to compare both novels and look at as a reader rather than a fan.

I know this is a popular read, a few friends have already asked if they can borrow it so I hope they will not be disappointed. This was a definite thumbs up from me - but I'll definitely be educating myself with the original.

Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know your thoughts.


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