MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Hamnet: Book summary and reviews of Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell X
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jul 21, 2020
    320 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

England, 1580: The Black Death creeps across the land, an ever-present threat, infecting the healthy, the sick, the old and the young, alike. The end of days is near, but life always goes on.

A young Latin tutor—penniless and bullied by a violent father—falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. Agnes is a wild creature who walks her family's land with a falcon on her glove and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer, understanding plants and potions better than she does people. Once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose career on the London stage is taking off when his beloved young son succumbs to sudden fever.

A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down—a magnificent leap forward from one of our most gifted novelists.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A]n outstanding masterpiece of Shakespearean apocrypha...The book is filled with astonishing, timely passages, such as the plague's journey to Stratford via a monkey's flea from Alexandria. This is historical fiction at its best." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This striking, painfully lovely novel captures the very nature of grief." - Booklist (starred review)

"What could be more common, over centuries and continents, than the death of a child - and yet Maggie O'Farrell, with her flawless sentences and furious heart, somehow makes it new. This story of remarkable people bereft of their boy will leave you shaking with loss but also the love from which family is spun." - Emma Donoghue, author of Room

"Grief and loss so finely written I could hardly bear to read it" - Sarah Moss, author of Ghost Wall

"I don't know how anyone could fail to love this book. It is a marvel: a great work of imaginative recreation and a great story. It is also a moral achievement to have transformed that young child from being a literary footnote into someone so tenderly alive that part of you wishes he had survived and Hamlet never been written" - Dominic Dromgoole, author of Hamlet, Globe to Globe

The information about Hamnet shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Maggie O'Farrell Author Biography

Double Vision

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of seven novels: After You'd GoneMy Lover's LoverThe Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Vanishing Act of Esme LennoxThe Hand That First Held Mine, which won the Costa Novel Award; and Instructions for a Heatwave, which was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award; and This Must Be The Place. Also the memoir, I am I am I am. She lives in Edinburgh.

Author Interview
Link to Maggie O'Farrell's Website

Other books by Maggie O'Farrell at BookBrowse
  • This Must Be the Place jacket
  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox jacket
  • The Hand that First Held Mine jacket

8 more...

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