Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

What can I say about this book? I’ve read it in Dutch, paperback edition. I purchased this book after reading all the excellent reviews around the internet. I thought I would be immersed in this book, but I have to disappoint O’Farrell’s fans by saying that the story is flat, not engaging and it’s difficult to grasp. I’ve spent 5 days reading this, which took way too much time as I usually read (ca. 400 pages) within 2 – 3 days maximal.

Wiliam Shakespeare and his wife have three children: one older and the youngest are twins Judith and Hamnet. Judith was born weak and was ill. People around thought that she’d not survive, but instead, Hamnet was the one who died. This book is just about a family who lost their son. Reading this exactly during the COVID19 pandemic, and there’s a pandemic in this book. As much as I would like to love this book, I must admit that I didn’t have the energy every time I started to continue reading it. Especially because I myself have just lost a beloved someone. Probably not the right time to read it. Maybe I’ll revisit this book in the future. But now, I have almost nothing else to say other than this book is so flat and boring. By giving this book a 3 stars rating, I know that I belong to the minority of people who don’t enjoy reading it. But it’s okay! Not everyone has the same interests.

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 three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet