By Michelle Ray
Poppy, $8.99, 348 pages
Falling for Hamlet is an interesting perspective on a fairly well-known piece. The novel is narrated by Ophelia on her relationship with Hamlet and the events surrounding the fall of the Danish monarchy. After his father’s death, Hamlet comes to rely heavily on Ophelia, slowly driving her into madness as she cannot control what he does. She loves him, but is also forced to bear the burden of knowing so much and being in the public spotlight. So many questions are asked from the start, giving direction and purpose to Ophelia’s story, and hooking the reader with emotionally tense writing.
This re-telling of Shakespeare’s play is powerful with scenes sticking closely to the real thing. But because this is a novel, the reader will get to know the characters more intimately while experiencing a more leading psychological aspect to the tale. Horatio is a more prominent character with whom the reader may come to sympathize with just as much as they will with Ophelia. It is a novel that goes deep, running a bit long, but does give more than expected with palpable pain and insight into the self destruction of nearly everyone.
Reviewed by Isabel Hernandez