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OPHELIA by Lisa Klein


by Lisa Klein

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-58234-801-4
Publisher: Bloomsbury

No doubt all readers of Hamlet really want to know more about Ophelia. Klein imagines her childhood, her boyish ways and her instant adoration of the Prince. Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, takes Ophelia to live at the castle so that she may learn how to be a lady. Those readers familiar with the play will find this narrative filled with new interpretations of the familiar characters. Ophelia knows Gertrude intimately and offers a peek into the mind of the woman who married her husband’s brother. For the most part, Klein sustains a credible, period style. Ophelia the character is playful and bold; her banter with Hamlet is witty, and often their repartee features wordplay and double entendre that would have made the Bard happy. However, there are moments when the illusion is broken. For example, Ophelia’s tutor and closest female character says something right out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when speaking about her husband to Ophelia: “The husband may be the head but the wife is the neck, and it is the neck that turns the head which way she pleases.” Teen readers who love long, detailed period pieces will adore this one. (Fiction. YA)