Year 8, Book 43

43. A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison

This book is a retelling of the story of Hamlet. It is told from the perspective of Ophelia set in modern times at a boarding school. It is a brilliantly crafted version of the story told from the point of view of someone other than Hamlet as has been done before. The prose is beautiful and the book was well written enough that even though I know how the story ends I  kept waiting for it to somehow end differently. Where this book falls down is the updated setting. First, I’m not sure whether it was the lyrical prose or the story itself, but this book never felt set in modern times to me. Also, the boarding school idea never felt fully fleshed out to me. She assigned all the various characters roles they would hold in a boarding school, but other than that I never really felt like that’s where the story was taking place. Unless she specifically mentioned something about it being a school I was not picturing it as such in my head. It worked out better for me if I just ignored those references. I give it a 6 out of 10.

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