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Hamnet

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4.59  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Drawing on Maggie O'Farrell's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: March 31st 2020 by Tinder Press
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Average rating 4.59  · 
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Mary Beth Keane
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary. Already predicting this will be one of my favorites of 2020.
Jeanine Cummins
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know where Maggie O’Farrell found the courage to take on such a daunting subject, but I’m so glad she did. This book feels intimate and true and is absolutely beautiful.
Ruth Brookes
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inspired by a fascinating historical footnote; the death of a playwright’s son & his famous tragedy of the same name. Hamnet is told with O’Farrell’s usual emotional acuity & filled with unspoken truths. This is an gorgeous novel, atmospheric, honest & grounded. A quiet, intimate tale about a marriage, the loss of a child & the transformative power of connection & grief. Beautiful.
Angela Smith
I love to read anything that is Shakespeare related and this didn't disappoint. Maggie O'Farrell has produced an intimate portrait of "what might have happened" Surrounding the death of Shakespeare's only son, Hamnet. We all know Anne Hathaway as Anne, but she is Agnes in this story. I was interested as to why she was called Agnes and after looking around on the internet, I found that she was named Agnes in her father's will.

Anyway, the book begins with Hamnet searching through the house for
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Christopher
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Hamnet: I found it incredibly compelling, the writing is a delight, and the characterisation feels very natural and familiar. It must be said, this is a novel about the death of a child, so please be prepared for that. I'm still musing over the use of Shakespeare, as much of this story has necessarily been invented (given how very little we know of Shakespeare's personal life), so could have been about a fictional family. I suppose the key is how Hamnet, the son, relates ...more
Mary Robideaux
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC. Maggie O'Farrell is on my "will read anything by" list, and she didn't let me down with this one. I don't know how you can be lyrical while describing how the plague arrives in your town, be she did it. This is an inventive and deeply felt novel; one I couldn't put down.
EL.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2020
There are so many risks picking up a beloved author’s ‘departure’ into a new genre. I felt it going into I Am, I Am, I Am and was blown away. I felt it coming into Hamnet and now I’m convinced that historical fiction is Maggie O’Farrell’s wheelhouse. Is there anything she can’t do?

William Shakespeare, usually the star of every story he appears in, takes a backseat to his magical, empathetic and vivid wife Agnes. O’Farrell’s ability to take the few facts we have about Agnes Hathaway and weave
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Maggie O'Farrell (born 1972, Coleraine Northern Ireland) is a British author of contemporary fiction, who features in Waterstones' 25 Authors for the Future. It is possible to identify several common themes in her novels - the relationship between sisters is one, another is loss and the psychological impact of those losses on the lives of her characters.
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