I bought and started reading this on its publication day, and I’m only posting my review now! Oh the shame!
This Fall brought me more than glorious foliage, and crisp mornings. It also brought me the worst reading slump I have ever experienced. At least from what I can remember.
It started innocent enough. I was actually reading quite a lot, I just wasn’t writing reviews. That’s happened before. Nothing wrong with reading just for the sake of reading, but once my book binge finally came to an end, I had a backlog of reviews left to write and zero desire to read anymore. I just wasn’t feeling it AT ALL, and as much as it pained me to neglect my blog, and my TBR, I couldn’t do it.
I have crawled through a few books that would normally take me a day or two to read, one of which was The Whisper Man (I KNOW), and most recently I have started reading light, fluffy YA to get my mojo going again. The last week I have had more desire to read but I’m still feeling the cold, dark grasp of the “Slump” trying to reel me back in.
I’m not going to lie, I am more than a little frightened by this. Have I finally burnt out? I have been reading no less than three books a week for DECADES, save the first few months of my daughter’s life. Is it possible this is permanent?
I wonder, have any of you experienced a slump this bad? If so, how did you get out?
Meanwhile, I actually have a break in my schedule to write, and these words are flowing so there’s that. I guess it’s time to catch up on all of those reviews now huh?
Here we go…
The Testaments (Publication Date: September 10, 2019)
In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her–freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood
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I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this book without even realizing it!
The Handmaid’s Tale is nearly as old as I am, and even though I didn’t read it for the first time until years after it’s first release, I loved it! It scared me and thrilled me in equal parts, due to it’s incredible originality. It is one of the first Dystopian novels I can recall reading before even knowing what the genre was, and I have read it many times over the years, never tiring of the story. There was even a short running opera years ago, yes an opera, and it was in English but I was there wide-eyed and shocked. Just as I was when I first read the book.
Which brings us to The Testaments. Was ever a sequel more anticipated than this? I don’t know, but for me, I was counting the days until I could go back to Gilead.
The first thing readers need to know, is that while the popular TV series may have nudged Atwood into writing it, this book is in no way related to the show. It also takes place many years in the future, and does not pick up where Offred left us.
No, like the title states, these are the testaments of three different characters, one you will remember well, and it essentially brings readers to a modern Gilead. One that’s even more terrifying today in its relevance. In fact, one could almost call this book non-fiction in terms of its themes.
Not surprising, everything about this book is carefully, and masterfully crafted. From the wonderful writing we expect from Atwood, to the fully fleshed out characters in the story.
Reading so many unexpected admissions from Aunt Lydia was shocking, and gave readers the perspective of Giliad and its atrocities from the other side of the Eye, which was fascinating. It’s truly difficult to give an in-depth review without spoilers, but I will say, that I didn’t think the author could shock me more than she had when I read the first book, but she did.
Was The Testaments worth the thirty some odd years wait? Well, I didn’t wait quite that long but I can honestly say, that the author delivered a perfectly satisfying conclusion to one of the most controversial, shocking, and insightful commentaries of my lifetime.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I implore you to read both of these books if you haven’t already. If the original had the power to form the reader I am today, imagine how good it must be.