Welcome to our monthly blog feature — Book Clubbin’!
A lot of us are busy parents, have challenging jobs, or just have generally hectic lives, so listening to audiobook versions of the novel can be really useful. You can squeeze your book club choices into your commute, listen while you work, or even when your baby is napping (HAH!).
Every month we’ll pick a popular book club pick and set up some discussion questions to get you and your book club going. This month, we’ve got questions for The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. Unless you have been living in a cave for the last couple of months, you have probably heard a lot about this amazing sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Book clubs EVERYWHERE have been devouring this book (Our own office book club included!), and so it seemed like an awesome pick for this month’s blog.
So take a peek at our questions, and as always, remember there MAY be some spoilers in here!
—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————
1) Do you think The Handmaid’s Tale needed a sequel? Were your questions answered by the end of the novel, or do you have even more?
2) Did The Testaments change your perception of Aunt Lydia? Why or why not?
3) In section 52, Aunt Lydia says the Aunts sometimes share information about their previous lives, “…Past lives are shared, I took care not to share too much of mine….” What do these snippets of information that we hear tell you about the Aunts? What opinions may they secretly have of Gilead? And what does it tell us about Aunt Lydia?
4) Even though Gilead seems to allude to having a lot of the same technology as the rest of the world, unbabies, deaths during childbirth, and other fatal/serious ailments seem to be the norm there. Why do you think this is?
5) When Nicole and Agnes are travelling to Canada, Nicole says “Just because people are related to you doesn’t mean you love them.” Agnes replies “Love is like a discipline, like prayer.” How have the girls’ upbringings developed their perception of what love is?
6) Much like The Handmaid’s Tale, the Gilead in The Testaments reflects a lot of situations in current society, especially in relation to movements such as #metoo. What parallels can you see?
7) Why do you think Atwood called the novel The Testaments?
8) Of all the groups of women in Gilead, who do you think has the most “freedom”?
9) Men are not portrayed very favorably in The Testaments. Are there any male characters who have redeeming features? Is it possible to be a man in Gilead and NOT be a bad person?
10) The novel has multiple narrators. How does this format help you to understand the story in different ways? How effective did you find the narration to be?
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