Hamnett by Maggie O' Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of the Sunday Times no. 1 bestselling memoir I AM, I AM, I AM, and eight novels: AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, and HAMNET. She lives in Edinburgh.

This novel, her latest, is the deserved winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

It is a heartbreaking account of the short life and death

of Shakespeare’s son Hamnett, the inspiration, one can assume for one of the playwright’s most notable works.

But Shakespeare himself is only a shadow in this novel. At the heart of the story is Agnes, his wife. She is described as a half wild creature, mysterious and wise, living on the edge of the forest, who is tamed into a semblance of domestic respectability . But tragedy is waiting and despite her gifts of prophecy, it cannot be avoided.

A wonderful heart breaking book.

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