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Hamnet

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

What can be said about this novel that hasn’t already been said? Reviews teem with superlatives which chime with my experience of reading this wonderful book.

Set in 1596 O’Farrell eschews the great movers and shakers of history. Instead she takes the scant details we know about Shakespeare’s domestic life and with them weaves a compelling and hypnotic tale. Central to the story is his son Hamnet/Hamlet (the names were interchangeable at the time) whose early death results in the…

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

This is the story of Coriolanus Snow known to readers of The Hunger Games trilogy as the cold ruthless leader of Panem. Set on the occasion of the 10th Hunger Games we are introduced to Coriolanus at the age of 17. Desperate to improve his impoverished circumstances he is dismayed to find, as a mentor, that he is assigned the weakest tribute, Lucy Jane Gray. We meet his friend, Sejanus and become acquainted with the young Snow’s family background. Full…

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