Reviews tagging Physical abuse

Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell

59 reviews

cookiehuggles's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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alice_clay's review against another edition

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emotional informative sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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evieolive's review

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dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

Truly one of the best things I've ever read, the characters and their experiences with grief were so painfully vivid

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bootsmom3's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional hopeful reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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yooniereads's review against another edition

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challenging emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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ekclar's review

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emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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taranim's review

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

I’ve read a good few books that deal with grief this year, but this might be the one that takes the biscuit.

-

‘What is the word, Judith asks her mother, for someone who was a twin but is no longer a twin?’

Hamnet is an exquisitely lyrical and heartbreaking novel that imagines the events that led up to, and take place after, the death of William Shakespeare’s only son. Only we are never given the name of the man himself - he is always referred to as the Latin tutor, the husband, the father. This allows his family to shine, particularly his wife Agnes (known to history as Anne Hathaway). 

I loved this story. The writing was beautiful, and the differing perspectives in the novel flowed rather than taking away from or slowing the narrative. Mind you, it is not a quick read by any means, but it’s not supposed to be. It is a study of characters, of complex family dynamics, of illness, and of grief. I was particularly fascinated by the relationship between Hamnet and his twin Judith, and by the way the novel explored each parent’s reaction to the loss of their child. 

The only reason that I didn’t give it a 5-star review is because, while the writing was beautiful, I felt at times it was a tad overwritten. There were moments that could have benefited from a simpler phrase, a less detailed metaphor. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story however so it is only a small thing.

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helena_sp_07's review against another edition

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challenging emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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lissybeth91's review

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hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

Not to be a massive Shakespeare fan-girl on main, but oh my goodness. Oh my gracious. Oh my goodness gracious me. This is a beautiful book. It has been messing with my sleep schedule for the past week, and I have no regrets. 

Most of the reviews I've seen focus on the fact that Shakespeare's name is never used in this book, so as someone who has had a massive crush on the man for the past decade (I know I'm pathetic), I was worried that this book would be some sort of anti-Shax manifesto about how he was a horrible family man. But if you've had the same fear, rest assured... O'Farrell's characterization of him is by far the best I've ever seen. It truly felt like she knows the same man I do, and that was a beautiful thing. 

But enough about him. Every single character is written with such sensitivity and real "humanity" that I feel as if I have lived in Stratford with them my whole life. I love every single one of them. Well. Okay, there are two that I hate, but even those two are written with understanding and grace. Beyond the characters, the words themselves are lyrical and stunning.

Read. This. Book 

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sib_reads's review against another edition

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emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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