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In the late 16th century Agnes is delivered of twins, Judith and Hamnet. They have an older.sister, Susannah. Their father is away, working in London.


This is  a very sketchy precis of Maggie O'Farrell's latest novel. I was totally immersed in it, even surprisingly on my part for Agnes'  skills as a herbalist. Her wretchedness that these skills can't save the  eleven-year-old Hamnet from the bubonic plague is moving. And of course we wonder when will HE in London know and how long will it take him to travel home. Immersive.

















Edited by chuntzy
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  • 3 weeks later...

I just finished it and thought it was terrific.  My favorite character, after the much-maligned mother, was her brother, Bartholomew.  Would that we all had a brother like that.

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  • 11 months later...

Excellent book.  I didn't want to read it because it got such great reviews and then I found it on sale in the supermarket so bought it on impulse.  I'm glad I did.  Totally original and very well written, I literally couldn't put it down.


Always loved Shakespeare at school and a fictitious account of his family life was more welcome than I imagined. An easy read and very compelling.



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