the Testaments [MINI REVIEW]

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42975172“More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

“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”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 432 pages
ISBN: 0385543786
Published: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese / Double Day Books

 

“As they say, history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Testaments

 

As some of you might know, I finished The Testaments shortly after it’s release! I got my book in the day of it’s release (the same day I miraculously sprained my ankle leaving the bookstore)  and I absolutely devoured it. My copy is full of green sticky tabs because there was SO many things I felt I needed to tab.

I decided to make this a mini review because I didn’t critically read it and write notes like I do with books that I usually will write longer reviews for. I just read this one for pure enjoyment and it was wonderful. I ended up giving it five out of five stars over on Goodreads because it was that good. Let’s talk about the things that I loved:

I thought the writing in this book was impeccable. I recently read the Handmaid’s Tale this year and I loved Margaret Atwood’s stand out writing in that novel as well. But, WOW. The writing in this novel makes it so much easier to binge-read. I found it much more entertaining and I didn’t feel like I had to stop and re-read the page like I did with the first book. I don’t know if it’s because the Handmaid’s Tale is such a popular feminist classic that it was daunting or I just simply enjoy this second book more. I definitely think there’s a shift in the writing style so if you’re looking for that same writing in the Handmaid’s Tale, I don’t think it’s here.

Another thing that made this book even more entertaining is that we get three POVs instead of one. I was ecstatic when I realized this. You get to know Gilead much better because you’re experiencing it in the eyes of three very different women. We follow a young girl growing up in Canada with a secret and mysterious link to Gilead, one girl growing up in Gilead (although to a wealthy family) and Aunt Lydia — a character we know from the first book. As much as I loved reading Aunt Lydia’s POV, I found the other girls POVs just as interesting and intriguing.

There’s a few scenes in this book that almost felt too real that it was scary. I think that’s a huge reason why Margaret Atwood wrote this book because so many of these things you’d expect in Gilead, are happening here in the United States. For example, there’s an Aunt Lydia scene where she’s been questioned about her past life (abortions, divorces, etc.) by a man essentially hiring her and I was so on edge the entire time. It’s upsetting how this way of thinking is real.

If you loved the Handmaid’s Tale because of how feminist it was, I think you’ll LOVE this novel. While the writing style isn’t as dramatic as the first book, I think the impact is still the same and this book proves it’s point. Also, if you’re wanting to know more about Gilead, this is definitely the book for you!

 

 

Buy the Testaments at your local bookstore

 

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Feminist Friday | The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Feminist Friday Announcement!

Image result for the testaments margaret atwood marketing“More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

“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”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 432 pages
ISBN: 0385543786
Published: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese / Double Day Books

 

Happy Feminist Friday! I decided there’s no other book that I can shout out this week than the sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale. I’m currently reading it (about 103 pages in) and I’m already enjoying it much more than the original. I love that she did this book in three different perspectives — it makes this book 10x more immersive.

It’s been in the news recently since Amazon broke the embargo and released this book a week before the release date. I’m not shocked that they did this but it definitely kills the release day hype when everyone’s already reading it. This is why you should shop indie instead!

It’s also been in the news recently because it made the short list for a Man Booker Prize!

Image result for the testaments margaret atwood marketing

You can see the entire list here. I think the winner will be announced in October!

If you want to follow along with me as I read it, I will be updating Goodreads while reading! I’m also recording an entire vlog of my reactions while reading. I’m sure that’ll be up in a few weeks! I’m aiming to edit and post it right when I finish but I have no idea when that’ll be.

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? Let me know!

 

If you would like, here’s a little button to add it to Goodreads: 

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Buy this book at your local bookstore

September Book Releases | 2019

 

ADULT

  • The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood [September 10th] **
  • The Institute by Stephen King [September 10th]
  • The Water Dancer by Te-Nehisi Coates [September 24th]
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca [September 3rd, 2019]
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1) by Tamsyn Muir [September 3rd]
  • Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3) by Jay Kristoff [September 3rd]
  • the Dutch House by Ann Patchett [September 24th]
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson [September 17th]

 

YOUNG ADULT

  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar [September 3rd] ** My Review
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon [September 10th] **
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell [September 24th] **
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin [September 3rd]
  • Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzie Lee [September 3rd] **
  • Suggested Reading by David Connis [September 17th]
  • Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi [September 3rd]
  • The Lady Rogue by Jen Bennett [September 3rd]
  • The Infinite Noise by Laura Shippen [September 24th]

MIDDLE GRADE

  • The Tyrant’s Tomb (Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan [September 24th] **
  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab [September 3rd] **
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier [September 17th]

 

** books that I’m anticipating myself!

Feminist Friday ↠ Feminist Classics

As some of you may now, feminism is literature is one of my favorite things. I still often read books on feminism or that have a feminist theme. But, have books always been feminist? Clearly, there’s several feminist classics that exist you might not know about. These books clearly paved the way for so many great feminist authors that are being published today. All the way from 1792 to present, we’ve been given feminist literature and non-fiction. So, without further ado, here’s some of the most essential feminist classics that were so influential for their time.

I put the date they were originally published so you can think about the time in which they were and why they would’ve been written and published. I also want to state that there are so many other feminist classics that didn’t make it on the list. I’m sure I’ll make more lists but as far as I’m concerned, these are some of the most popular ones!

1. A Vindication of the Rights of a Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

469334 “Writing in an age when the call for the rights of man had brought revolution to America and France, Mary Wollstonecraft produced her own declaration of female independence in 1792. Passionate and forthright, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity, and instead laid out the principles of emancipation: an equal education for girls and boys, an end to prejudice, and for women to become defined by their profession, not their partner. Mary Wollstonecraft’s work was received with a mixture of admiration and outrage – Walpole called her ‘a hyena in petticoats’ – yet it established her as the mother of modern feminism.”

Published: 1792

 

2. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins

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‘The color is hideous enough, and unreliable enough, and infuriating enough, but the pattern is torturing.’

Written with barely controlled fury after she was confined to her room for ‘nerves’ and forbidden to write, Gilman’s pioneering feminist horror story scandalized nineteenth-century readers with its portrayal of a woman who loses her mind because she has literally nothing to do.”

Published: 1892

 

 

 

 

3. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

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“A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled Women and Fiction, and hence the essay, are considered nonfiction. The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.”

Published: 1929

4. The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

9684227Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, Simone de Beauvoir’s masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a groundbreaking exploration of inequality and otherness.  This long-awaited new edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation. Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir’s pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was back then, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.

Published: 1949

 

 

 

5. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

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“Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire. This 50th–anniversary edition features an afterword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen as well as a new introduction by Gail Collins.”

Published: 1963

 

6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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“We follow Esther Greenwood’s personal life from her summer job in New York with Ladies’ Day magazine, back through her days at New England’s largest school for women, and forward through her attempted suicide, her bad treatment at one asylum and her good treatment at another, to her final re-entry into the world like a used tyre: “patched, retreaded, and approved for the road” … Esther Greenwood’s account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing.”

Published: 1963

 

 

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

45864574.jpg “The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.”

Published: 1985