Friday, March 27, 2009

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Ophelia starts off as an ugly duckling with a conspiring lout of a father and an older brother that she loves very much but could never dream of being equal with. But her world changes when she comes into the service of Queen Gertrude of Denmark. Suddenly she has her mind full of the deceptions of court and her eyes full of the image of the handsome young Hamlet, heir to the throne.

Her world is turned around when the prince returns her longing and they fall in the purest of loves. But something is rotten in the state of Denmark (I'm sorry. I couldn't help it) Hamlet falls into a melancholy when the king dies and a plot is uncovered. This is the classic story of Hamlet (and then some) through the eyes of Ophelia.

So. Beautiful. I had never bothered to really think of Ophelia in this way and see her as a strong heroine, despite the many times I have read Hamlet. But the writing gave her this incredible character and these fantastic layers. She was such a real narrator, not to mention the brilliant speech in which she relayed her story. It was Shakespeare for n00bs.

The love she described was brilliant. Passionate without being lewd. Young without being immature. I completely admit to crying in this book. It was just. that. well. written.
Here's the downside.

If you don't like Shakespeare, you probably will not like this piece. It has all the tragedy and much of the language. And understanding of Hamlet is not required, glory be, so I can recommend this with confidence to anyone willing to take the chance on a very straightforward tale of love, hatred, deception, evil, and growth. Ophelia is one of my favorite narrators. Maybe in the top 20. Top 15 even. The only part I did not enjoy was the first 20 pages or so. After that, it picked up in a matter of paragraphs.

6 out of 7 rapidly flowing rivers
. Yay Lisa Klein for writing this. So good. A literary work of art.

Checking out this fantastic author,
Aella Siofra


Ayane said...

You should really check out The Mortal Insturments Series, by Cassandra Claire, they are amazing and great reads.
They are:
City of Bones
City of Ashes
City of Glass
The triology is amazing.

Medeia said...

We've read those and we find them to be quite fantastic.

... by "we" I mean Aella and me, as opposed to my having multiple personalities...

KD said...

Oh this one looks pretty good! I like romeo and Juliet so I will probably like this one too. and I also love the Mortal instruments series! :D

Ink Mage said...

Absolutely loved this book as well!

And you will find that Maelstrom has been nominated for an award on my blog. :-)

Charlotte said...

I hadn't seen anything about this one before--I'll look out for it! Thanks.