Margaret Atwood to Publish Sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Praise be. After more than 30 years, fans will finally get a sequel to the long-awaiting story of The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood will publish a follow-up to the wildly popular tale. The new novel is called The Testaments and starts 15 years after readers last heard from Offred, the main character in a unique story unlike any other. She is played by Elisabeth Moss in the Hulu series called The Handmaid’s Tale. There are spoilers ahead for the novel and the series.

The novel is about Offred’s continued story

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Hammer Museum

The story follows Offred, who is stuck in sexual slavery in Gilead. In a society where reproductive matters are of the utmost importance, women are forced to be raped and have children for the families of Gilead against their will. The handmaids chafe against the chains of oppression and fight in any way they can.

It will pick up 15 years after the first novel

The highly anticipated novel, The Testaments, will surely be a best seller this year. It is set to be released on September 10. The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale will pick up 15 years after the mysterious turn of events. Fans will remember that Offred is abruptly taken away by the secret police in Gilead. It was, however, unclear whether these people were in the resistance or Mayday members in disguise.

What can fans expect?

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The novel will be narrated by three different female characters. Atwood says the new novel will explore the world of Gilead further than before. “Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in,” stated Atwood.

Is the new novel connected to the Hulu series?

Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

The new novel, The Testaments, isn’t connected to the Hulu series, The Handmaid’s Tale. The show has just concluded its edge-of-your-seat finale of the third season. Offred, or June, has taken things a step further and helped save children from the clutches of Gilead. She is shot and is taken away by the other handmaids in an epic finale. She was able to see the plane take off with the children safely tucked away inside.

Offred won’t die in the show

Showrunner Bruce Miller revealed to BAZAAR.com that June will never die on the series, so she will most definitely be back for the fourth season. The news is relieving for fans who are glad June will make it through from her gunshot wound.

“It’ll always stay June’s story. The show is all from June’s point of view—all of it, including scenes with other people,” explained Miller. “Those are scenes where either she knows those people well enough to piece together what would have happened, or at some point afterwards, someone who was there told her what happened. Every single thing we see is something she either knows or would know, because she’s telling us this story.”

Fans don’t have much longer to wait for the new novel, The Testaments. It will definitely make the void between the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale much easier to deal with.