professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Lisa Klein has given readers, teen and adult, a wonderful novel that connects to Shakespeare’s HAMLET. And yet this story travels far beyond the boundaries of the play to provide readers an insightful examination of Ophelia, the central character of the novel. All the elements of the plot of the play are present. However, having Ophelia at the center, changes so much of how readers will relate to this tale of revenge, murder, and intrigue at court. Klein retains the flavor of the language of the period; many passages read very much like the language of the Bard. However, I am positive that readers will find this novel much more accessible and perhaps it will serve as an entrée to the play. What I hope more is that teachers will offer readers some choices here. Read the play and novel in tandem or read one or the other or simply read the novel. I fervently wish that this is a book that makes it into the hands of kids for pleasure reading. I know that my 13 year old will adore this story for it has echoes of some of the authors she loves including Shannon Hale and Karen Cushman. This is a richly detailed and compelling story that takes Ophelia from diminished heroine to worthy successor of Hamlet’s inheritance.

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