First let us warn you, if you haven’t read the book, there are a few spoilers ahead…
If you’re anything like us, you’re pretty darned pumped about the incoming Bravo series The Handmaid’s Tale. Not only was the story one of our favourite Margaret Atwood books of all time, but a series revolving around the world of Gilead just seems so incredibly relevant right about now.
For those who need a quick refresher, the story is sent in a dystopian society in which fertile women are sent to be “handmaids” for rich, barren couples in power. During a monthly ritual these women are ceremoniously raped, and if they become pregnant they’re then forced to give the couple their baby.
The series stars Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) and Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), and features guest-stars like Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black) and Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls). Ten episodes are planned to-date, but showrunner Bruce Miller has told us firsthand that if the series takes off he has every intention of a second season. Which means he’s thought a lot about what happens in Atwood’s novel after leading lady Offred makes her big escape. If she even escapes in the TV series; we’re told to expect some departures.
Of course it’s been years since Atwood first published the award-winning novel — 32 years to be exact. So there’s been plenty of time to think about whether Offred actually escaped or was eventually sent off to the radiation-soaked colonies. And as it turns out, Atwood has thought a bit about Offred too.
That’s why she’s finally releasing an update of sorts to her original story, in the form of an expanded audio book. Beginning Tuesday on Audible.com we can all buy an audio copy of the book (as narrated by Claire Danes) that features a super-sized ending.
If you’ll recall, the original novel featured a “Historical Notes” chapter in which Offred’s tale was dissected in a lecture hall. “Are there any questions?” Is the final line in the story. Until now, that is. Because now Atwood has written out some questions and answers and we’ll all get to hear her take on what might have possibly happened next.
“With this new special audio edition, I’ve added the questions and answers that I think the people at that symposium, occurring in 2195, might ask,” Atwood said in a statement to the Associated Press. “It was an engrossing challenge for me to revisit that last scene of the book and address some questions that I know many readers and listeners have had, over the years, after finishing The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Fingers crossed that this new edition lives up to hype, because we’ve waited a long time for some answers like this. Atwood rarely lets us down, so we’re remaining cautiously optimistic until the book’s re-release next week.
Until then we’re, at the very least, certain that the TV series will live up to hype; we can say that having had a sneak peak at some of the episodes. No spoilers, but let’s just say we’re already counting down the days until Bravo’s two-hour premiere on April 30th.