May 21, 2010


Title : Ophelia
Author : Lisa M. Klein
Rating : * * * *

Characters : Think Cast of Hamlet and you would be spot on; however, our sulking hero has been swapped for the charismatic heroine. Enter Ophelia: 16 years of age, tomboy tagalong turned into a lady. Hamlet is the fervent love interest who goes mad with revenge. Horatio is best friend to Hamlet, stalwart, loyal, and genuinely good. Polonius is just as negligent and pompous as ever. Gertrude proves to be an observant and concerned mentor to Ophelia.

Setting : The Elizabethan era rather then the medieval times of the original play.

Basic Plot : In this retelling of Hamlet the romance between the Danish Prince and Ophelia takes on new light—cast by Ophelia. Closely follows the plot of the play with one major twist—which I will leave up to you to discover for yourself because its just that good.

Comments : One of the things I loved best about this novel is how close it keeps with the framework of Good Ole William’s play with just enough of a spin to make the playwright proud. The Shakespearean style banter and wit traded between the main characters will make any Old English linguist smile and delight the ordinary reader. Klein smoothly weaves her plot so tightly it blends seamlessly with the work of Shakespeare. You don’t even need to know the original work to be captured by this new take. In fact, the work of Klein makes following the convoluted plot of Hamlet easier to follow and all the more fun. Though her text is not as poetic as the Bard's, the intrigue and societal mores of the times mirror his moral criticisms. In this novel you find honor, betrayal, love, romance, and a search for personal identity. Excellent!

Similar Stories : Lady Macbeth’s Daughter, Saving Juliet, and Enter Three Witches

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