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Competitions

Win the NEXT book of the month November: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

We have five copies to give away.

In the 34 years since The Handmaid's Tale took the literary world by storm, Margaret Atwood has fielded countless queries from readers asking what happened next. Even the author had to concede the questions were fair enough. After all, she'd left heroine Offred on the brink: armed men had stormed her house – but were they coming to set the handmaid free from the totalitarian state of Gilead or was she about to become yet another victim of the regime? In the much-awaited The Testaments, we get our answers.
For fans of the television adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, there's no need to disregard the second and third seasons of the show here, because most of the action in The Testaments takes place 15 years after the end of the first book.
It's narrated by three characters – Agnes, who was born and raised in Gilead; Daisy, who helps smuggle people out of Gilead; and Aunt Lydia, chief female enforcer of Gilead's draconian rules and a character all fans of the book and/or television show know all too well.
This Aunt Lydia, however, is more complex than the stickler we love to hate. For many of her chapters we're taken back in time to when she was rounded up with other women past childbearing age at the beginning of the revolution. Agnes and Daisy's storylines, meanwhile, propel the story forward in what is in essence a spy thriller about a mole inside Gilead who is working for the Mayday resistance. The Testaments doesn't convey the same degree of horror as its predecessor, but it's also more gripping in some respects as its characters jump through hoops to bring down the evil empire. Fast-paced and addictive, it satisfies our hunger for 'what happened next' and brings with it a sense of hope that Gilead will one day fall.
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