In A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood envisioned a world in which the US had become Gilead, a totalitarian world ruled by Commanders in which women were totally subservient.
Told by one handmaid, Offred, it describes how women are forbidden to learn to read or write and are solely there to serve men in all ways, including sexually. The sequel, The Testaments, is set 15 years later and is told by three women – Aunt Lydia, a trainer and manager of handmaids, and two of Offred’s daughters, Agnes, who became the privileged child of an elite family, and Nicola, who was smuggled out to Canada.
Resistance is growing in Gilead and Lydia is plotting its downfall… At a time when women are increasingly protesting against femicide, rape, unequal pay and often worse injustices at the hands of men, this book hits an extremely sensitive nerve.
Chatto & Windus, R360.