Take an icon of writing…a name familiar to most of us from an early age…and make him a bit player in his own story. Then take his family and dive deep into their various personalities and characters. Bring it all together with joy, love, and deep abiding pain…and you’ve got Hamnet.
O’Farrell does something so lovely with this story by weaving together Shakespeare’s love story with one of the greatest tragedies of his (or any parents) life. She does it with deep character definition, intricate descriptions, and lyrical storytelling. It is tender and sad, but beautifully done so as to leave you satisfied and warmed.