the next good book


By Maggie O'Farrell


305 pages

What’s it about? Maggie O’Farrell has taken a thin outline from the life of William Shakespeare and filled it in with her version of the story.  And what an interesting version it is!  Apparently, William Shakespeare and his wife had three children.  Their only son, Hamnet,  dies at the age of 11.  Maggie O’Farrell fills in the story from there. What did it make me think about? Love, marriage, and grief in the time of Shakespeare. Should I read it? Oh, I so enjoyed this story!   There is nothing like being taken away and transported to another time and place.  This book takes you back to England in the 1500’s- to a world of Black Plague and superstition.  Once I started this novel I kept wanting to return to Stratford to find out what was going on with these interesting characters.  Any fan of historical fiction will appreciate this story. What took me so long to read it? Quote- “What is the word, Judith asks her mother, for someone who was a twin but is no longer a twin? Her Mother, dipping a folded, doubled wick into heated tallow pauses, but doesn’t turn around. If you were a wife, Judith continues, and your husband dies, then you are a widow.  And if its parents die, a child becomes an orphan.  But what is the word for what I am?”

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