Nataliya The United Statess review of Hamnet

There are, that is, interesting historical notes here. Interesting information about the house Shakespeare grew up in, and the one he purchased when he began to make money. About flowers and herbs and their medicinal properties. There is a moving account of the courtship of an unlikely couple, an even more moving story about the grief experienced over the loss of a child. But what elevates the story above ‘interesting’ is its engagement with Shakespeare’s life, and there’s something peculiar about hinging the story’s emotional gravity on a reader’s knowledge of Hamlet’s father’s ghost …

The Shakespeare’s house on Henley Street in Stratford Upon Avon, where Will, his wife, children, and parents lived until 1597.Recreation of the Shakespeare’s dinner table. The History Guy- Witch Trials in the 16th and 17th centuries. Anne is further isolated because of her strange abilities- in the book she owns a falcon, not a ladylike hobby for 1580s England. She is also senapathi movie remake skilled with medicinal plants and knows how to read palms. In essence, though the town ostracizes Anne, Shakespeare admires her cleverness, and the book implies that Shakespeare would later use her skills in characters like Kate from Shrew, Friar Lawrence , and maybe even the witches from Macbeth. Will Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway are haunted by their abusive parents.

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 written. The boy’s death is the clawing grief at the center of O’Farrell’s tale. But what sprawls around it is a family saga so bursting with life, touched by magic, and anchored in affection that I only wish it were true …

That was my response, too, From the beginning, I felt she was straining for high art, but poetic sentences and a raft of researched details can’t take the place of a sense of intimacy with a character. The pacing was glacial, the writing was overwrought, and the characters were irritating at best and non-entities at worst. This juxtaposition is critical in music, but also in writing. It is, to quote one reviewer, “blisteringly beautiful”.

We did get there eventually, and I definitely enjoyed the second part of this novel more, but we just took to long to get there, and by the time I started getting more into the story, I just could not have cared less. While I did find the exploration of grief really well written, I wish we focused on that more, instead of spending so much time on stuff I felt added nothing to the story. I abandoned my reading of the longlist, and was determined to finish reading the shortlist, so here we are. I might end up not reading one final book from the shortlist (I know you completionists will judge me, but I just don’t care). I am now in the middle of Girl, Woman, Other , but just before that I finally picked up Hamnet.

It is about the mystery and magnificence of the family bond. Not just any family — the family Shakespeare … O’Farrell gives vivid dimension to the story by flashing back to the time William and Agnes met …

However, I persisted and gradually I got used to her style. The description of the marriage brought the individuals to life for me and from then on I found it worth reading. When Hamnet died, with the last words of Part I, ‘Hamnet takes his last breath. I read the book in one great marathon session yesterday afternoon and evening. The depiction of grief on the death of a child can surely never have been bettered? And the ending at the Globe, with its torrent of impressions, confusion, dawning realisation and final piercing understanding is superb – those last words …..

The author, whose memoir I Am, I Am, I Am covered the near-death experiences of herself and her ailing daughter, understands the parental terror of a child’s suffering … O’Farrell’s novel isn’t only about grief — or not any more than Hamlet is. The novelist calls our attention to the world around her characters, the sensual, sensory world available to us all but so often glossed over as we go about mundane tasks. Untethered by dates or events, the story loses historicity and gains immediacy, so that even as we know Hamnet will die, we suffer his passing as a shock …

The boy, Hamnet, is in frantic search of help. We feel his anxiety rise as he fails to find the adults — particularly his mother — who might know what to do. Shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction,Hamnetby Maggie O’Farrell is about an eleven-year-old boy that loves his sister. It’s about the boy’s mother, who can tell who people are and what they will become, just by holding their hand.

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