This Ain't Shakespeare's Ophelia
Book #66: Ophelia
Author: Lisa M. Klein
Reason for Reading: My literature teacher recommended it as a pretty good companion novel to Hamlet. I read it in 6th or 7th grade, way before reading the play. Remembering very little about it, and now having read the play, I decided to try it again.
Quote: “Alone in my chamber, I fairly trembled with excitement. How could it be that I, who had never been kissed before, had kissed the Prince of Denmark himself, not once but many times? Did he really speak to me of love? It was beyond belief that I, humble Ophelia, should be wooed by Prince Hamlet. Surely I had imagined it.”
Copyright Date: 2006
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Drama
Rating (out of 10 stars): 6 stars
Summary: This novel is a re-telling of the story of Hamlet from Ophelia’s point of view.
Review: I’ve never really liked re-tellings. I’m never happy with what the author does to the original story, and a lot of the time I wish I’d just left the story as it was: clean and untainted. Ophelia was no exception. While I enjoyed the novel, I felt that Klein took a few too many liberties with Hamlet. Not that she changed anything, she just used the “things are not always what they seem” tactic a lot. And while some of it fit well in the story, a lot of it did not. I can’t give away much for people who haven’t read/seen the play, but let’s just say that, according to this novel, Ophelia fakes the majority of the things she does in the play for various reasons. That kind of bothered me.
However, with the liberties she took, Klein did come up with a very convincing storyline. It was well thought-out and well-executed, and, if it hadn’t of been for the glaring incongruities with the play, I probably would have thoroughly enjoyed it. Even if I didn’t like this particular novel, it was certainly not because of anything the author did, it was because of my personal feelings. It was still very well-written, and I am likely to check out more of Klein’s work in the future.
Recommendation: I kind of feel like people who haven’t read Hamlet would enjoy the book more, but this is definitely a personal preference one. If you are a die-hard Hamlet fan, I would suggest skipping it. But if you're just an appreciator of the play, you might want to give it a try.
Do you think you'll read this book? More importantly, do you think Lonks can read 30 books in 5 days? (She's up to 70, we just haven't published all her posts yet!)
Related post: One Year, 100 Books!