Historical Fiction Favorite
England, 1580s, 320 pages
With every word spoken, an image flashed through my head: Maggie O’Farrell sitting at her keyboard, pondering every word on her page. I wonder how long it took her to write this beautiful prose to reveal the purity of the story, the imagined life and family relationships of Shakespeare’s wife, Agnes, and his son, Hamnet. The setting of 1580s England immediately draws readers into daily life and an intricate telling of a plague’s journey from the Middle East to Stratford Upon Avon. That Shakespeare makes only glancing appearances within the chapters is masterful. The focus is on the influences of his life and work. Emotions tug and tear.