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WINNER OF THE 2020 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION - THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'Richly sensuous... something special' The Sunday Times
'A thing of shimmering wonder' David Mitchell
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.
Stunning. The writing is exquisite, immersive and compelling... deserves to win prizes -- Marian Keyes
The story of Hamnet Shakespeare has been waiting in the shadows for over four hundred years. Maggie O'Farrell brings it dazzlingly, devastatingly, into the light -- Kamila Shamsie
Grief and loss so finely written I could hardly bear to read it -- Sarah Moss
Heartstopping. Hamnet does for the Shakespeare story what Jean Rhys did for Jane Eyre, inhabiting, enlarging and enriching it in ways that will alter the reader's view for ever -- Patrick Gale
Blisteringly brilliant... You'll lap up this intricately told story of grief, love and the bond between twins ― Cosmopolitan
[A] rich imagining of the lives of Shakespeare's family enchants... O'Farrell's remarkable novel bursts with life ― Sunday Telegraph
A beautiful read. A devastating one. Intricate, and breathtakingly imaginative ― Rachel Joyce
A bold undertaking. Beautifully imagined and written ― Claire Tomalin
Richly sensuous...something special ― Sunday Times
The novel of her career... everyone I know who has managed to get hold of a copy is absolutely in love with it ― Observer