Reviews tagging Alcoholism

Hamnet, by Maggie O'Farrell

15 reviews

antoniav's review

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

4.5


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lillythebluepaladin's review

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

5.0

What is given may be taken away, at any time. Cruelty and devastation wait for you around corners, inside coffers, behind doors: they can leap out at you at any time, like a thief or brigand. The trick is never to let down your guard.

WOW!!! This will in fact go down as a classic! That was a beautiful, emotional, and sometimes kinda hard read, and I seriously enjoyed it!

SUCH AN EASY 5🌟 BOOK REVIEW FOR THIS ONE! The writing? Stunning! The characters? So realistic! The story itself? Perfect. Finally booktok actually recommends something good, this and Achilles!

It is about a certain VERY well known play writer’s wife and family, but the most beautiful part about this book is that his name is never said. We really get to see the man who wrote the plays, and we really got to see into his badass wife’s mind, and heartbreakingly enough, we also really got to know every corner of their children’s personalities, and then something not-so-nice happens in the middle :(

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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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paperbirds's review against another edition

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emotional mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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szinkle's review

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challenging emotional informative tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25


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ntvenessa's review

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

4.5

A moving fictionalisation of Hamnet Shakespeare's life and death, and the grief that haunts his family, particularly, his mother. It is atmospheric and O'Farrell is incredibly skilled to breathe life into the scant historical details that survive today.

"I am dead:
Thou livest;
... draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story"
Hamlet, Act V, Scene II

Stunning.

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lchelle_bester's review

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challenging emotional reflective 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

4.5


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tiemzahra's review against another edition

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

5.0

In 1596, an 11-year-old Hamnet searched everywhere for help when his twin sister suddenly fell ill. Everyone thought that Judith will not make it, but Hamnet died a few days later. 
 
This novel is inspired by William Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays. O’Farrel wrote this and made sure to stick to scant historical facts known about the short life of Hamnet. The chapters in the book alternated from the current plotline that led to Hamnet’s death and four years after that, to when the first time Shakespeare met his wife Agnes (her real name was Anne but meant to be Agnes) up until the birth of the twins. 
 
The resilience of a woman was the main focus of this book, of Agnes who had peculiar childhood, was feared because of her unusual gifts. I got to know that nothing much is known about Anne Hathaway, and this book is an excellent take of her life and marriage to Shakespeare. Shakespeare, however, was not named at all throughout the book. He’s only called as the tutor, father, son, husband, and whatever he is to the focus of the current chapter. I love Agnes’ character, I pitied her, got angry for her, and cried for her. The real cause of Hamnet’s death was blurry, but in this book he died due to bubonic plague that should be constant in that time period. I don’t usually reach for historical fiction, but when I read one, it will be one of my favourite books of all time, and Hamnet is definitely it. 

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northernlitreading's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

I really didn’t think I’d like this book at first but wow, did that change. I know it’s fictional but what a believable story. It’s an amazing exploration of fried and people living their lives in a way that is out of the status quo and I just adored it. I really think people will be reading this in classrooms in the future. (I would also argue that if you want to get into reading classics but find them too slow or descriptive this would be a great place to start.) Also, just a moment to appreciate Bartholomew - bless him for being a good brother.  

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emtay's review

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challenging emotional reflective sad medium-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? No

4.5

This book takes on a poetic lilt unlike many others. While I prefer the golden flashbacks, the joy the two lovers had in youth, it allows you the hope and perseverance to see through their darkest nights. Every character was distinct in point of view and action, perfectly well-developed so that nothing was surprising and yet everything was. Every new detail came like a spark. 

An exploration of grief, family, and perseverance. What happens when the we believe a truth so fully that we become blinded to reality. Bears a hint of the message that we all cope with grief, with life, differently and to know someone means entering that space and knowing it together.

“She can look at a person and see right into their very soul… She will take a person for who they are, not what they are not or ought to be”. Agnes loses sight of this, in the throws of grief and habits of youth, but I believe finds her way home to herself. 

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