Book Review: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

I picked up this book simply because I liked the cover. I’d never even read Shakespeare’s Hamlet! Written by Lisa Klein, Ophelia is Hamlet’s story told by his lover, Ophelia’s, point of view.

We’re introduced to the young Danish woman when her ambitious father secures a place for his family at Elsinore Castle. Ophelia is adopted as a lady-in-waiting to the gentle Queen Gertrude. She swiftly wins the queen’s favor with her quick wit and good character. Soon, Ophelia becomes entwined in a forbidden romance with Prince Hamlet. They secretly wed and conceive a child. Yet, Hamlet’s father, the King, is suddenly murdered by his brother, and Hamlet seemingly goes mad in attempting to convict his uncle. Without giving away too much, I will say that, where Ophelia’s story meets its sticky finish in Shakespeare’s play, Klein’s Ophelia is nowhere near through with her adventures.

Klein’s plotting is patient and well-paced, her dialogue sophisticated and true to the era, her prose elegant and descriptive, and easy to follow. Ophelia is a strong, resourceful, and intelligent heroine. I loved this book!

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