“You don’t believe the sky is falling until a chunk of it falls on you.”
After the success of Margret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, she went on to write a sequel called The Testaments. The reader picks up the tale years in the future after Handmaid’s Tale. The protagonist’s daughter has been taken out of Gilead and kept in hiding in another country. She is raised by resistance volunteers which are aided by secret spies within Gilead itself. Gilead is – seemingly – universally disliked in the global setting of The Testaments with it’s politics creating a human rights crisis.
“The truth can cause a lot of trouble for those who are not supposed to know it.”
There are flashbacks that tell the story of an important female judge forced to support Gilead. We learn more about her and the secret loyalty she displays toward the ideals that guided her former life. The pursuit of justice, at great personal cost, is a constant theme throughout the book. It makes heroes of even the most unsuspecting people sometimes. The ideal that loyalty to people may be negotiable, but loyalty to an ideal are two completely different matters. What the plot unravels is the machinations of those intent on subverting the structure and politics of Gilead and toppling it from the inside out.
“Reign of terror, they used to say, but terror does not exactly reign. Instead, it paralyzes. Hence the unnatural quiet.”
“How tedious is a tyranny in the throes of enactment. It’s always the same plot.”
Atwood, Margaret. The Testaments. New York: Anchor, 01 September 2020.
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