Why did I love this book?
Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, Hamnet is the poignant story of Agnes, Shakespeare’s wife, and her life in Stratford on Avon far away from Shakespeare and his London theatres. Agnes is a pioneering herbalist, but even her cures cannot save her son Hamnet from the plague sweeping England. Having written two historical novels, I am in awe of O’Farrell’s ability to recreate the whole texture of Agnes’s Elizabethan world so convincingly. The ending is a tour de force revealing why Shakespeare entitled Hamlet after his dead son.