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Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews

Historical fiction lovers rejoice! Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is simply one of the best historical novels I’ve ever read. Hamnet follows the story of Shakespeare’s family but with a refreshing focus on his free-spirited wife, Agnes. You know from the beginning that one of their twins, Hamnet, succumbs to the plague in his youth and inspires the play by his father. What you don’t know is the complex love of this family-the tender connection between each character in their yearnings, their expectations and their grief. This novel is achingly beautiful, stunningly heartbreaking but worth every single minute because every sentence from O’Farrell is a gift. This is the best historical fiction I’ve read since All the Light You Cannot See. Rejoice indeed.

— Casey

In this novel, Shakespeare’s fictional, free-spirited wife Agnes grapples with the death of one of their twins, Hamnet, as Maggie O'Farrell breathes life into the family experience that shaped the famous play. Every sentence, achingly beautiful and heartbreaking, demonstrates the tender connection between the characters in their yearnings, their expectations, and their grief. Hamnet is simply one of the best historical fiction novels I’ve ever read.

— Casey

O’Farrell makes words dance on the page, embodying the spirit of Shakespeare while focusing on the untold story of his wife, Agnes, a witchy wonder who brews herb tonics and trains falcons while her husband gets ink stains on his fingers in London. Yes, there is a death, and it is painful to read. But the tears feel good, ya know?

— Jess

August 2020 Indie Next List

“I loved Hamnet in very much the same way I loved Lincoln in the Bardo. This novel explores the way the dead haunt the living—especially how the death of a child haunts their parents—and does it in the context of a fascinating historical figure and time. But we know so much about the Lincolns, and so little about the Shakespeares. Maggie O’Farrell’s ability to construct a palpably real emotional life for all the members of the Shakespeare family—but especially for Shakespeare’s wife—is just magical. This is a powerful and haunting novel.”
— Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL

Product Details
ISBN: 9781432887551
ISBN-10: 1432887556
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: July 6th, 2021
Pages: 535
Language: English
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Created At: 3/28/2021 08:45am
Last Updated At: 6/25/2022 04:26am