It took me more than a little bit to really feel like I was into The Testaments but once I was in I was all the way in. I put it down to the format – I didn’t realize from the onset that I was going to get this books from three different perspectives, plus one of those perspectives is told in two different time periods. It’s a lot to get your head around organizationally, but when I did, I was very happy I’d stuck with it.
Atwood essentially took Handmaid’s Tale and added The Resistance, and for the most part it works. Even the terrifying Aunt Lydia works. For me the most fascinating perspective was that of the girl who had only grown up in Gilead because it we were seeing this world from the point of view of someone who knew nothing else. It’s what Gilead would look like if you were indoctrinated from the start and how even those brainwashed as children came to see the hypocrisies.
And oh boy does The Testaments delve into those hypocrisies. Essentially every man in power is some iteration of David Vitter, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Mark Sanford, Newt Gingrich … you know. The “family values” type that inevitably is caught with a mistress/prostitute/harassing teenage boys interning in the Capitol. But yeah every single one. It’s both unsurprising and exhausting. There are other areas I would have preferred exploring because of course men claiming righteousness for power abuse that power likely sooner rather than later, if they haven’t already.
Anyway. I’m not sure we needed this next chapter but I’m also not angry we have it.