The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Disclaimer: This is NOT a book review. This is a commentary on books, current events, and how all that gets filtered through my brain.
Over a year and a half ago, I reviewed Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale. It has since been adapted to a wildly popular television series on Hulu. I signed up for the one-month free Hulu trial and have watched some old movies and TV shows, but I tend to avoid “Handmaid.” I’ve quit watching all television series because I just don’t have the time to be chained to a streaming service. Plus, I suspect in the era of Trump, the message has been adapted to “white, religious men are all bad.”
No thanks. I have a hard enough time keeping my head above water as a white, religious male, and my anxiety attacks under control.
But I just found out that Atwood has gotten around to writing a sequel called The Testaments, set fifteen years after the original novel. I’m surprised she didn’t do this earlier.
Promotional image for Hulu’s television series “The Handmaid’s Tale
I just finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and I can tell you it’s not a book you review without doing a bit of research. Of course I knew that going in.
I’ve been peripherally aware of both Atwood’s novel and the television series on Hulu but didn’t give either much attention. Then I read a few stories about this year’s Women’s March and noticed in the news photos amid women dressed in vagina hats and full-body vagina costumes, there were groups who wore the red and white wardrobe of the handmaids (I assume the protestors’ inspiration was more the TV series than the book but I have nothing with which to back that opinion).
Since the Women’s March largely is a protest against the administration of President Donald Trump, I became curious as to the connection (I already knew what the vagina costumes were all about).
Fortunately, my local public library system had a copy, so I reserved it and when it arrived at the designated branch, I eagerly began reading. I’m going to break down this review into sections both to make it more readable and to keep things straight in my head. It’s not that I found the book itself so complex, but there are wider social implications to consider.