Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell, Tinder Press, 384 pages

It’s summer, and a plague is sweeping the country. Maggie O’Farrell’s novel transports the reader back to 1596, and to Shakespeare’s family — in particular his wild and mystical wife, Agnes, (as she is named here) and his ill-fated son Hamnet — in the years preceding the play that took his name. Motherhood and scenes of pastoral life are described in exquisite detail...

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