Reviewed by Sidra Javed
I had heard a lot about Handmaids Tale and about how sad and dark it is. Although The Testaments is also in our bookshelf but I have not yet given it a shot. This book has been sitting on our shelf for months now. I would dust it and put it back. As I read mostly for pleasure and to distract my mind so I used to opt for light fiction most of the time. A few months back I started reading different books on self help, biographies and history etc. Although this is a work of fiction but not my usual type so I picked it up. I’m glad to do so as its a worthy read for sure.
The story is about a new found country that is actually a coup on USA by crooked commanders and is named Gilead. It is resented by rest of the world particularly Canada and many undercover operations are on going to sabotage it. These organizations have links in the upper hiararchy of the government of Gilead. This new governing body is a bunch of fanatics and extremists. They select their workers when they pass through brutal torture and mind grinding excersices . Interestingly while reading this I was constantly reminded of the torture cells they claim to have found inbour region. Moving on the rules of the state are what they accuse Muslims of. Highlighted ones in this book are their treatment to females. They deny basic human rights to women like their will, education, marriage etc. All these which they associate with muslims, they are doing it to their own women ironically. There are three main characters of the story. Aunt Lydia, who runs the affairs of a very important institute for women. She has a girls scout service with the name of Pearls who recruit and plot schemes in foreign lands. She overlooks the Marthas and Handmaids used for specific requirements in households of high ranking officials. There is baby Nicole, who was kidnapped and smuggled out of Gilead by her handmaid mother. Daisy, who is a canadian and totally oblivious to her roots and history. Jamima, who belongs to a high ranking official family. Bound to be the child bride of a commandar but opts being an Aunt (nun). How these characters bind together and what twists and turns their stories have is worth evert minute of your time.
The writing style is very simple nothing dramatic or fancy. A simple narration of events. Character building is amazing, how a seemingly blend character develops into a thrilling adventure is both surprising and interesting.
Rest assured you will close this book with a feeling of wonder at the relationships, devotion to the cause, sacrifice and complete revenge. The Testaments is totally recommended.
You can also previous review on Black Bird