Margaret Atwood is finally writing a follow up to her novel The Handmaid’s Tale. It is called The Testaments. The sequel picks up 15 years after we leave Offred in the first book, and it has a book cover that will set your mind spinning.  

The Testaments has not been revealed to address what happened to Offred, but we do know a few things. The novel will have nothing to do with the Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss. That series has surpassed the timeline of the original novel and is on its own track now. The Testaments will focus on three women in Gilead.  

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The narrators will give us some idea of where the world has gone, but I personally doubt if Offred will be the subject of their accounts. It’s possible that Offred becomes a symbol of resistance and will be referenced in that way. But the series is following Offred, and Atwood has been involved in that storytelling, so I expect that the book will follow Gilead itself. Just a hunch. 

The book cover, revealed in an exclusive with EW and designed by Nora Barr, exchanges the iconic handmaid red for green. And, there is the image of a woman around the neck of the handmaid figure. Therein lies the puzzle. Is the woman around the neck a chain? An albatross? Or is she supporting the handmaid figure? Is she the icon of the resistance as it continues to fight the oppression of Gilead? Is she a woman grasping for help? Will they rise or drown together?  

The Testaments will publish on September 10, 2019. Preorders are available!  

 

 

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Jenny Flack

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