Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

TWO EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE. A LOVE THAT DRAWS THEM TOGETHER. A LOSS THAT THREATENS TO TEAR THEM APART.

On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a sudden fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London.

Neither parent knows that Hamnet will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright: a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

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A boy is coming down a flight of stairs.

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(@TinderPress, 1 April 2021, paperback, 384 pages, bought from @AmazonUK)

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I’m a huge fan of the author and have been looking forward to reading Hamnet for ages since I heard so many good things about the book. I loved Hamnet, I got absorbed in the lives of the characters and the tragedy that shapes and almost obliterates the bond between them. I found the book incredibly sad at times especially when Agnes realises, too late, that her sick daughter is recovering and her twin is the one dying, her hopelessness is painful too read. I cried so much reading this book as it really twisted the knife in my heart, in a good way. The afterword mentions that Hamnet’s cause of death has never been disclosed just the date he died which struck me as incredibly sad. This is an astonishing book.

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