The Testaments

The Testaments

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades. When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead."--provided by publisher.
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. -- Publisher description
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780385543781
Characteristics: x, 419 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Atwood, Margaret 1939- Handmaid's tale.


Featured Blogs and Events

CPL’s Most Popular Books of 2019

Which books were most popular at Chicago Public Library in 2019? As usual, the lists are dominated by buzzy bestsellers from the previous year or two, but some 2019 titles were immediately popular enough to make the lists. Books published early in the year have more of a chance to chart for the whole year, so expect to see more of the most popular 2019 books on next year's lists. Adults… (more)

Top Picks: Margaret Atwood

We're celebrating Margaret Atwood's 80th birthday on November 18 with some of our top picks by the prolific author. If you're a fan of Atwood, there's no doubt that you know her stories are front and center today with the television series of one of her most popular novels, The Handmaid's Tale and the recent release of the very much anticipated sequel, The Testaments. But beyond some of her… (more)

From Library Staff

Welcome back to Gilead. Eighteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, three women tell their stories. Aunt Lydia is in charge of the women's sphere, the domestic side of Gilead. Agnes is the privileged daughter of a wealthy commander, one of the first generation to grow up in Gilead. Da... Read More »

Welcome back to Gilead. Eighteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, three women tell their stories. Aunt Lydia is in charge of the women's sphere, the domestic side of Gilead. Agnes is the privileged daughter of a wealthy commander, one of the first generation to grow up in Gilead. Da... Read More »

2019 Booker winner

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 28, 2021

Written in 2019, the long overdue sequel to *The Handmaid's Tale* sadly reads like one of those bland and boring teenage feminist young adult dystopia novels. The writing isn't terrible; however, the elder Atwood, now into her eighties, painfully struggles to capture a modern teenage girl's point of view. Where *The Handmaid's Tale* is skillful and subtle, *The Testaments* is blunt and derivative. Is this a bad book? Not at all! Still, it doesn't read like a worthy successor to the excellent *The Handmaid's Tale.*

JCLAmyF Mar 23, 2021

This book did not disappoint in being a sequel to one of my favorite books, The Handmaid's Tale. I can't wait for the next season of the show!

Mar 06, 2021

This book was such a disappointment. It was written to be made into a movie, it seems to me. There is little to none of the depth and subtlety found in The Handmaid’s tale, its predecessor. This is a shallow, plot driven novel. Even the characters, that were so finely and tensely wrought in The Handmaid’s Tale, are dime-store-novella predictable and shallow. Very disappointing. But I am sure it will be a big success as a movie.

Dec 30, 2020

The Testaments did not have the same power as the Handmaid’s Tale but it was still worth the read. A nice conclusion to the series.

Dec 20, 2020

I’m glad I read THE TESTAMENTS, author Margaret Atwood’s sequel to her dystopian classic, THE HANDMAID’S TALE, and the first half kept my attention. Atwood does a good job developing the 3 main characters and transitioning between their storylines. But ultimately, this book doesn't have the staying powering for me as the original novel or the tv series.

Oct 30, 2020

Being the most awaited book of the year, it's not easy. I can say that most-including my own-negative reactions are primarily based on expectations. The Handmaid's Tale has been a holy ground in the literary world since its publication in 1985, a true modern classic further intensified by the popular show and current political tensions. There couldn't be greater stakes for a sequel, and even for the ever-talented Margaret Atwood, that's a tough performance to deliver. All in all, this is a well-written tale of adventure that extends the creation of the world implied and alluded to by the original. But it's dull as well, mostly unsurprising, and basically feels like a chance to cash in. I despised all the young characters; more specifically. Some 67 percent of the book is narrated by young people. A Middle Grade narrative voice that is jarring and undesired is generated by their lack of maturity. Not inherently unrealistic, just distracting. For pages and pages, their kiddish thoughts go on … Final rating:2/5 @Barcelonafan1 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Sep 03, 2020

axis 360

Aug 10, 2020

Very well organized; well (but not very well) written; often juvenile; and not particularly imaginative; nearly popular detective thriller.

Jul 31, 2020

An interesting way to close and tie up most of the loose ends of the original story. By explaining that some records were destroyed or lost, all things cannot be answered but enough is revealed that the reader feels there was a fairly complete story. Something like this can happen when not enough people stand up to protect individual rights by a small group.

Jul 27, 2020

This novel is a wonderful follow up of The Handmaid's Tale. The story is very involved, moving, and well written.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Dec 20, 2020

“As they say, history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” - p.407

Dec 20, 2020

“Once a story you’ve regarded as true has turned false, you begin suspecting all stories.” - p.307

Dec 20, 2020

“You don’t believe the sky is falling until a chunk of it falls on you.” - p. 66

Apr 09, 2020

"Astonishing," I exclaimed. "Not for nothing do we at Ardua Hall say 'Pen Is Envy.'"

Oct 02, 2019

"There were swings in one of the parks, but because of our skirts, which might be blown up by the wind and then looked into, we were not to think of taking such a liberty as a swing. Only boys could taste that freedom; only they could swoop and soar; only they could be airborne. I've never been on a swing. It remains one of my wishes." Part II - Chapter 3 - pg.16


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top