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Hamnet and Judith

A Novel
Written by: Maggie O'Farrell
Narrated by: Daisy Donovan
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Hamnet & Judith is an exploration of marriage and grief written into the silent opacities of a life that is at once extremely famous and profoundly obscure.... As the book unfolds, it brings its story to a tender and ultimately hopeful conclusion: that even the greatest grief, the most damaged marriage, and most shattered heart might find some solace, some healing." (Geraldine Brooks, The New York Times Book Review

Two extraordinary people. A love that draws them together. A plague that threatens to tear them apart.

England, 1580. A young Latin tutor - penniless, bullied by a violent father - falls in love with an eccentric young woman: a wild creature who walks her family's estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles on the Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband. His gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their beloved twins, Hamnet and Judith, are afflicted with the bubonic plague, and, devastatingly, one of them succumbs to the illness.

A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, Hamnet & Judith is mesmerizing and seductive, an impossible-to-put-down novel from one of our most gifted writers. 

Published as Hamnet in the US and the UK.

©2020 Maggie O'Farrell (P)2020 Knopf Canada

What the critics say

"Hamnet & Judith is a beautiful read, a devastating one, intricate, and breathtakingly imaginative. It will stay with me a long time." (Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry)

"What could be more common, over centuries and continents, than the death of a child - and yet Maggie O’Farrell, with her flawless sentences and furious heart, somehow makes it new. This story of remarkable people bereft of their boy will leave you shaking with loss but also the love from which family is spun." (Emma Donoghue, author of Room)

"Love, grief, hope, resilience - the world of this novel is so vivid I could nearly smell the grass in the fields, hear the rain in the gutters. In moments where the story shoots up to heaven I was there, too, grieving with these characters, feeling how lucky we all are to be alive, understanding how desperately we want the people we love to be remembered. It’s without a doubt one of the best novels I’ve ever read." (Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes

What listeners say about Hamnet and Judith

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