Read This Next: Alison Downey

Beacon blog

Lately, I have been listening to many audiobooks on my drive to-and-from Valpo and home. It is a nice way to pass the time, as well as stay in-the-know about good books and cross books off my ever-growing “to read” list. One book that I was particularly taken with was “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood. “The Testaments,” released in 2019, as a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was released in 1985. The story reads as transcripts and testaments, from individuals living in Gilead, such as Aunt Lidia and Agnes and a young girl in Canada, Daisy, who has a bigger role in Gilead than she could ever imagine.

If you have read “The Handmaid’s Tale,” or watch the series on Hulu, you are familiar with the dystopian, authoritarian government, Gilead, which has overthrown and replaced the United States, as we know it. Aunt Lydia and Agnes give an insider view of what is expected of the Aunts and women within Gilead, and their personal roles within society. Like with “The Handmaid’s Tale,” I often found myself becoming viscerally emotional at the treatment of the women and how individuals in Gilead were forced to come-to-terms with their new lives. When a book can evoke such emotions, I feel it is a tribute to the high-quality writing that captivates readers and evokes such empathy.

What I enjoyed most was the ending and the events leading up to the conclusion. Atwood writes in a manner that leads to you making assumptions, and yet even when your assumptions are founded, you still find yourself somehow surprised. Though the ending was my favorite, I will not divulge any further information, and instead encourage readers to check out “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood. If you enjoy the dystopian subgenre, powerful female characters and stories of redemption, this is one for you. An additional note, if you enjoy listening to audiobooks, this was a good one to listen to as Aunt Lydia is voiced by Ann Dowd, the actress who plays her in the TV series, and Agnes and Daisy are voiced by notable actors, Bryce Dallas Howard and Mae Whitman respectively.