Book Clubbin’ – 10 Discussion Questions for The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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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Book Clubbin’ – 10 Discussion Questions for Ask Again, Yes

Welcome to our new blog feature — Book clubbin’! We know that many of you (and us in the Audiobooks.com office!) are in book clubs, and so it seemed an obvious thing to blog about.

In the clubs I’m in (Yes, plural. I have a bit of an addiction) 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 Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane, which was recently voted the Tonight Show Annual Summer Book Club Read. This is a really intense and awesome listen, with in-depth characters, and a lot to talk about. So here are our Ask Again, Yes book club questions!

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1. This novel has been described as a “Domestic” novel. Do you feel that’s the right genre for this novel? Why or why not?

2. Ask Again, Yes is told from the perspective of many different characters (Kate, Peter, Francis etc.). How do you think this adds to the development of the story?

3. The title Ask Again, Yes references the discussion Kate and Peter have at the end of the book. Do you feel that it applies to any other characters?

4. How are mental health and addiction issues portrayed in the novel? Do the characters’ experiences differ due to the era they grow up in?

5. Who do you think is the most sympathetic character in the book? Who is the least likable?

6. When Francis discovers Anne at Peter and Kate’s house, are you surprised at how calm he is? Or is this in line with his character?

7. The theme of history repeating itself is central to this novel. Which characters most fall into these patterns? Are there characters that don’t?

8. Kate, Lena, and Anne are very different women. How is the role of the traditional wife and mother portrayed in this novel?

9. The shooting changes the lives of almost everyone in the novel. How different do you think the following relationships would have been had it never happened? i) Kate and Peter ii) Lena and Francis iii) Anne and Brian.

10. What do you think the future holds for Kate and Peter?

New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

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