Our April selection is Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, a remarkable historical novel that brings to life the courtship of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway, and the heart-wrenching years of raising their children–Susanna, Judith and Hamnet–during the Black Plague of the 1580’s. Per Amazon, the story is "a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time.”
Hamnet is one of The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2020.
Magnificent and searing…Here is a novel that matches Shakespeare with a woman overwhelmingly more than worthy…So gorgeously written that it transports you from our own plague time right into another and makes you glad to be there.
– The Boston Globe
A tour de force…The story O’Farrell weaves in this moving novel is timeless… Hamnet vividly captures the life-changing intensity of maternity in its myriad stages — from the pain of childbirth to the unassuageable grief of loss. Fierce emotions and lyrical prose are what we’ve come to expect of O’Farrell. But with this historical novel she has expanded her repertoire, enriching her narrative with atmospheric details of the sights, smells, and relentless daily toil involved in running a household in Elizabethan England.
Miraculous… brilliant… Through the alchemy of her own vision, O’Farrell has created a moving story about the way loss viciously recalibrates a marriage… A richly drawn and intimate portrait of 16th-century English life set against the arrival of one devastating death.
– The Washington Post
Since Hamnet is a relatively new (and popular) release, you may want to get on your library waiting list now if you plan to borrow a copy. Discussion begins April 1st. Please join us!