Review of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I read these books back-to-back, and I assume most people know the general plot, so I figured I’d review them together. I know I’m incredibly late to the game on The Handmaid’s Tale, but I was curious about The Testaments, so I figured I’d better read the first one. As a disclaimer, I haven’t watched the show. I was thinking about it, which also prompted the timing of this reading.

I can’t say I enjoyed these books, because the content makes that feel wrong. They are, however, powerfully written. You don’t want to put either of them down, even though they can be hard to read. I happen to live in Texas, where occasionally they find extreme religious sects, so none of this feels as unbelievable to me as it may to some.

I had some fears about The Testaments, due to the announcement of its publication coming after so long right as the Hulu series was popular. It turns out they were unfounded. While it may still be that the author was prompted to write this sequel due to newfound interest in the first book, it was clearly something she had thought about well before that. It is a fantastic story in its own right.

The Testaments did things I never would have expected upon completion of The Handmaid’s Tale. I thought after finishing the first that I had an idea where the second would go. Some of my predictions came true, but most of the book was surprises beyond my imagination. I adored it.

These books are perfect for readers if dystopia, but also for people who read the likes of Any Man or The Power. I’m going to try the show, but I’m afraid that visually it may be too much for me.

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