The second book in Atwood’s Madd Addam trilogy traces members of a group called
God’s Gardeners both before and after “The Great Waterless Flood,” i.e., the pandemic that destroyed mankind.
The chapters bounce around to the different characters, years before the pandemic, and show their previous lives leading up to the destruction. The first novel followed Jimmy in his life in the compound, but these characters are the other half, the less privileged from the pleeblands. But as time goes on, connections between these two worlds are made apparent.
At first I was put out because book two doesn’t pick up where book one left off, which was quite the cliffhanger, but I became so invested that I minded less as the story went on. In fact, what is most intriguing is that characters who were minor in the first novel, just blips in Jimmy’s life, turn out to be much more.
In short, this is a great follow-up to the first novel, but still leaves you wanting more. Book 3, here I come!