Book Review, Favourite

Review – Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell



On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? 

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever 

My Review:

For once I don’t really know how to write this…I tried to type this out but couldn’t form adequate words… what I can tell you is that Hamnet is one of the finest literary fictions that I have ever read. It is my favourite book so far in 2020 alongside with A Little Life.

I don’t know what we have done to deserve a book like this. I am absolutely transfixed in this story, back in 1500s London and back in the life of Anges, Susanna, Judith and Hamnet, the family that we know so little about, the family of Shakespeare’s.

There is absolutely nothing in this novel that doesn’t deserve praise. The proses are beautiful, the characters are unforgettable and the tragedy are utterly devastating. Maggie O’Farrell has the ability to write a tragedy with grace; the loss and the grief were so raw and intense that it gripped my heart so fiercely that I heard myself sobbed through those chapters. It was utterly heart-breaking and yet beautifully done.

There is not much more I want to say but please read this book. Beautifully imanged and masterfully written by one of the best novelists in our generation. I would be very surprise if it doesn’t make the Women’s Prize shortlist this year.

Thank you so much to Georgina and Tinder Books for these beautiful copies.

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