I’m still making my way through the full series of the Anne Shirley and the Alex Rider books and also the 2019 short list for the Man Booker prize.
This month’s choice therefore has to be The Testaments by Margaret Atwood .
These accounts by three individual witnesses are beautifully written. Margaret Atwood has created a unique voice for each of the narrators. We have the accounts of two young women, both of whom are training to be Aunts in the Gilead system. We also have the voice of the feared and revered Aunt Lydia.
All is not well in or outside Gilead.
It would be difficult to understand these accounts if you are not familiar with The Handmaid’s Tale. You really need to have read that first book or have seen the TV productions. The story in this volume contradicts a little what we have seen in the TV series.
It is the story of what happens after Baby Nicole is smuggled out of Gilead. Certainly the events described here happen when Nicole is a teenager. However, we still don’t have the full story. Will there be one? Or must we use our imaginations?
I gave this a five star review on both Amazon and Good Reads. It was interesting reading other reviews including some one and two star ones. Yes, even the literary greats get those!
For me this remains one of those rare books that I’d gladly read again. Perhaps this is partly because I feel I may have missed something. It is also in part because I find the prose so enchanting and not as one reviewer said: “dull and lifeless with no linguistic subtleties that Atwood is so very good at.” So, take heart if you’re a writer and get some one or two star reviews. It’s all so subjective after all.