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A Wounded Name

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  567 ratings  ·  149 reviews
There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.
Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even whe
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Carolrhoda Lab
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Kat Heckenbach
Nov 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm nearly done with this novel. And I'm writing my review now for a reason: I've hit that point where the novel has gone from completely breath-taking to I'm not finishing it.

Let me first give you an idea of where I'm coming from. I am both a Shakespeare fan and not a fan. When the stories are broken down for me, I love the plot lines. But I do not dig the old language, and I very, very much do not dig reading plays. And when I was in high school, my English teacher made the class listen to the
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t read Hamlet though I do know the Wiki version of it. I somehow never felt the urge to do so. I know it’s a classic and I intend to but somehow I have never gotten around it. Before I started this novel, all I knew about Ophelia was that she really ought to have sucker punched Hamlet at least once and that she drowned.

There’s a beauty to A Wounded Name that I am not going to be able to fully articulate here. Hutchinson has given Shakespeare’s play a modern setting, time wise, but becaus
Sandy Lu
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In beautiful and poignant language, Dot Hutchison has brilliantly re-imagined the all-too familiar tale of Hamlet and given Ophelia the voice she had been denied until now. Haunting, atmospheric, and lyrical, her heartbreaking and harrowing narrative captures the complex inner dynamics of a lonely teenage girl, alienated and damaged by the ultimate childhood trauma which forever shaped her relationships with the ones she loves and with the world. In Dot’s deft hands, A WOUNDED NAME will appeal t ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.


Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Aca
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't tell anyone, but the truth is I have never read Hamlet. So, reading A Wounded Name was a bit of an adventure for me and I don't think I experienced it in its entirety, but even so, I really adored A Wounded Name.

A Wounded Name is a very hard book to like. There are some very uncomfortable themes and it's a very dark book. If you prefer not to read books with abuse (emotional and physical) and suicide, this is not the book for you.

What makes Hutchison's retelling different from most retelli
3.5 stars

This may come as a shock, judging by the mediocre average rating of this novel and the extremely valid 1 star reviews that top the GR page, and it certainly was a shock to me, but... I actually liked this novel. Quite a lot. Having said that, let me be clear on something: I would not recommend this novel to anyone, because all those 1 stars reviews are completely right: this is an extremely depressive novel that features what's probably one of the most disturbing, despicable and unhealt
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at:

Wow. I was totally BLOWN AWAY by this book! I studied Hamlet in school last year, and I honestly thought it was one of the best of Shakespeare's plays that I've read. He's brilliant with his works and every single word practically leads to something else. That's why I must admit I was in total English-analyzation mode when it came to A Wounded Name.
First off, I was completely drawn to that cover. GORGEOUS. I could gaze at it for hours
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Hamlet's my favorite Shakespeare tragedy. His other work combined together can't top this masterpiece. So when I first saw someone was publishing a retelling I just had to have it. Not everyone has the talent and the guts to try out to integrate Shakespeare into their work. Dot Hutchison did an outstanding job.

Ophelia is one of those characters in Hamlet I didn't care for. She was spineless and pretty much everything I don't like in a woman. My heroines need to be strong and independent but A W

I read a A Wounded Name this week and was not disappointed. It is a Hamlet retelling from Ophelia’s POV. Which isn’t totally unheard of, I have three other books that do the same thing. However this is the difference, in those other three books Hamlet is such a likable romantic interest and Ophelia doesn’t die at the end.

I found this book to be much more like I pictured the play to be. First off (no this isn’t a spoiler go read the damn play) she dies at the end of this book, drowns in the lake
April Sarah
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I first picked up this book because I love the artist who did the cover. Now that I have read my way through the story, I'm in love with the words as well. It has the feel of the original Hamlet telling, whimsical, lyrical, devasting and all. While it might not be as modern feeling as the setting, I loved it for that.

I enjoyed seeing the story told from Ophelia's perspective. How messed up both she and Hamlet (Dane) are. It flushes out some of what could have been going on in the background of t
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Shakespeare Retellings
Recommended to Thalia by: NetGalley
Read the review on my blog:

A Wounded Name is a debut novel by Dot Hutchison releasing this September. The book is a contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. I'm going to presume that many of you know the original story so I will not completely rehash it. I prefer instead to talk about Hutchison's brilliant take on it. The book is told in first person from Ophelia's point of view as she shares the events leading up to the tragic end of the Prince of Denmark. It is a title that I expect to hear more about, pa
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Lerner Publishing Group, Carolrhoda Lab, and Netgalley.)
15-year-old Ophelia lives with her father and her brother following her mother’s suicide, at the illustrious Elsinore Academy, where her father holds an important position.

The headmaster of Elsinore Academy has just died though, and while most think it was a heart attack, Ophelia and the groundskeeper know the truth – Hamlet was murdered.

With Hamle
Erin Arkin
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Wounded Name is based on the story of Hamlet but told in the voice of Ophelia. Of course we all know the tragic ending to the story but Dot Hutchison gives us a new perspective and writes it so beautifully I was immediately drawn into this book. As I sit here wondering what I could possibly write that will do this book any sort of justice, I keep thinking that anything I write will pale in comparison to actually reading it.

The story itself should be familiar and even if you have not read/seen
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well I could not have picked a better book for my first readers' choice review. If my recommendations keep being this awesome, I may just have to read nothing but recommendations from you guys!

A Wounded Name is a retelling of Hamlet. I'm a huge Shakespeare buff so maybe that's why I loved this one so much but I know for a fact that that is only part of the reason. The story was part of the draw for me but that's not what really hooked me. The writing and the characters are what really got to me
A Book Vacation
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
To see my full review:

Though Hamlet is not necessarily my favorite, Dot Hutchison’s A Wounded Name takes a very interesting look at Hamlet from Ophelia’s point-of-view, interspersing some aspects of fantasy in order to give it a little lighter feel when explaining Ophelia’s final choice in the end. Of course, there are liberties taken and events out of sequence, with Ophelia present for confrontations that she wasn’t present for in the Bard’s play, etc., b
Raechel Attaway
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Based on the classic Hamlet, this story is narrated by Ophelia in the modern day setting of a historic boarding school. If you're at all familiar with the story of Hamlet, then as the inner flap will tell you, "You know how the story ends." What you can't know before beginning the book is how eloquently the author gives voice to a character who has suffered in silence for centuries. A Wounded Name is a tale of a murder, deceit, and loneliness... But mostly it is the story of those so blinded by ...more
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm always very critical of Hamlet retellings/adaptations (I've read so many, as Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearean tragedy) and at first this book was shaping up to be a diamond in the rough.

The writing was good, I liked the characterizations well enough, but eventually everything spiraled downward. The writing became too disjointed, the story became, frustratingly, too much like the work it's based on and yet too dislike it at the same time. Some artistic choices in regard to the characters
Nov 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was so thrown off by the language in this story. It is a retelling of Hamlet from Ophelia's point of view. It took the longest for me to realize it was meant to be contemporary because of the elaborate way of speaking. For me, it went beyond lyrical, because it echoed so much of the original writing. I was compelled by the story and the touches of the otherworldly, but in the end I couldn't get past the archaic speech. The reference to cell phones was the only clue I had that this was modern. ...more
This review also appears on my book blog, Adrift on Vulcan.

Much like Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst, A Wounded Name was senseless… and also plot-less. And it’s such a shame, because here is a pretty cover that actually suits the story, and Dot Hutchinson has gorgeous writing that further adds to the mysterious atmosphere surrounding Elsinore Academy. However, these things just weren’t enough to redeem the book for me. A stupid protagonist, no sense of story, and an abusive love interest aren’t thi
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got a finished copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I love Hamlet (and Shakespeare in general) and have read a couple retellings of this play. This was by far the best one of the bunch. The writing style is lyrical and beautiful and I absolutely loved it.

Ophelia is the daughter the main administrator at a boarding school. For generations the boarding school has been run by the Hamlet family, but the death of the Headmaster has turned the school on it’s head. One of the
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
ARC provided by publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


I remember reading Hamlet in High School and one of the major points that stuck with me was the character of Ophelia. Once I read the blurb for this book, I knew there was no way I couldn't not read it. Hutchison created a modern day retelling of the famous play, taking a new take on old characters. The book is given a voice through the character of Ophelia, where we are able to properly delve into the depth of h
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ok I should really start this review saying that I actually despise Shakespeare. My Brit Lit professor was also an expert in Feminist Theory. It wasn't a good combo, and I obtained a few perspectives that ruined Shakespeare for me. All that to mention that I didn't realize it was a retelling of Hamlet until I had started it. I was hooked at that point anyways. I read some recaps of Hamlet to get the gist. I may despise Shakespeare, but I love Dot Hutchinson.

Now I can't vouch for the original ve
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dot Hutchison is a talented author - too talented, in my opinion, to be trapped in another author's work. A Wounded Name is a "retelling" (as other readers have put it) of Hamlet. I call it fanfiction. Part of me is glad I didn't know this before I picked up the book, because I probably wouldn't have given it a chance had I known, but it did cause me some confusion when I first opened the book and all of the characters had the same names as those in Hamlet. It took me 4 or 5 chapters before I fi ...more
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Atmospheric, haunting, riveting, this story was everything I wanted and more. I am so, so, so passionate about Hamlet, and oh, this lived up to that madness, and it created an entirely new yet still as compelling madness of its own. The prose itself is gorgeous; Hutchinson has a gift with words. That gift transports us perfectly into the fragile yet magical mind of Ophelia.

It saddens me that the average rating for this is low, but I understand why it would be. I haven't read any negative reviews
I love Hamlet, so of course I was curious about A Wounded Name. Sadly, there’s nothing new or interesting here. It sticks very closely to the original, which I think works against it. Instead of being about the murder of the King of Denmark, it’s about the murder of the Headmaster of an elite boarding school. Ophelia is one of the students there and can see ghosts, as well as hear the banshees sing for the recently deceased. When the Headmaster’s ghost appears, Ophelia knows something is wrong, ...more
Cristy Bramhall
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.


Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even when she takes her pills, the bean sidhe beckon, reminding her of a promise to her dead mother.

Now, in the wake of the Headmaster's su
Jocelyn Keller
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Note to self: buy a hardback copy of this book
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you read the reviews of this book on Goodreads, you are going to see that people either love it or hate it. I pretty much fall in the "love it" category.

I was an English major in college, had to take two Shakespeare courses, read Hamlet more times than I can count, did three major papers on the play. With that said, I think Hutchison skillfully takes all of those plot points and charaacter flaws that Shakespeare scholars have been analyzing and arguing about for decades and crafts them into a
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a retelling of the story of Hamlet. It is told from the perspective of Ophelia set in modern times at a boarding school. It is a brilliantly crafted version of the story told from the point of view of someone other than Hamlet as has been done before. The prose is beautiful and the book was well written enough that even though I know how the story ends I kept waiting for it to somehow end differently. Where this book falls down is the updated setting. First, I'm not sure whether it ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 10:10AM  

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Dot Hutchison is the author of A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the adult thriller The Butterfly Garden. With past experience working at a Boy Scout camp, a craft store, a bookstore, and the Renaissance Faire (as a human combat chess piece), Hutchison prides herself on remaining delightfully in tune with her inner young adult. She loves thunderstorms, mytholog ...more

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