I feel like this novel is more of an outline or checklist rather than a fully fleshed-out story. Where Evaristo spends time focusing on character development and capturing the essence of a moment, the writing is magical and moving. That doesn’t happen enough for me. Instead the novel feels like she has too much political agenda to try to cover – probably for good reason since the 12 intermingling stories are mainly about black, British women.
Gwenamon says: A couple of strong moments, but undeveloped overall
I think rereading “The Handmaid’s Tale” made me dislike this novel even more. It’s unbelievable that this won a “joint” Booker prize, and shows how the publishing machine and Atwood’s rank must have so much clout. I would have tossed this book aside, if it weren’t for (parts of) Aunt Lydia’s tale and the fact that I was reading this book for book club. “The Testaments” pales so in comparison to its lofty predecessor. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is literature. This is young adult pulp fiction. I’ll avoid spoilers and just say there are so many gaping holes in the plot. So many. And the tone of the two teenagers’ testaments is painful.
Gwenamon says: Too neat, predictable, and illogical. So disappointing!
I couldn’t stand this book but forced myself through to the end, hoping it would redeem itself. It didn’t. How this ever won a Booker prize is beyond me. Was it just time to give it to a Canadian?
Gwenamon says: Yuck
An entertaining, easy read of hard topics set within India’s many vivid layers. The charming narrator serves up harrowing tales with casual grace. His clever style makes this book a page-turner. Also, he makes you question not only him but the morality of it all.
Gwenamon says: A dark, yet fun read