A review by sarah984
Hamnet & Judith, by Maggie O'Farrell

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


I liked the idea behind this book, of centring the family around a famous man when those people are generally forgotten, but I did not like the actual experience of reading it.

The writing is repetitious and florid (I get that it's for emphasis but some paragraphs just felt like lists of synonyms) and the characterization of Anne (Agnes) as this kind of stereotypical "witchy" wise woman was annoying. Her supernatural ability to randomly know things seemed like a literary device to tell information the author didn't know how to show. The vaguely supernatural cause of Hamnet’s death was also stupid. If this wasn't billed as straight historical fiction this probably wouldn't bug me so much, but it is and it does.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings