Written by Lisa Klein

Ophelia’s story emanates from the Shakespearian play Hamlet. This is what might have happened to Ophelia if she had survived. Born of tragedy, as her mother died, she is brought up with her father, Polonius, and her brother beyond the palace walls. She lacks a matriarchal figure in her life. Her father has ambition for her, and Ophelia’s life changes when she is accepted as one of Queen Gertrude’s ladies, catching her attention and favour.

Ophelia is less drawn to needlepoint as she is to studying herbs, taught by a wise woman. She falls in love with Hamlet, and secretly becomes his wife. Tragedy follows when his father is murdered. Hamlet changes, his feigned madness becomes real and Ophelia cannot find it in her heart to follow in his desire for revenge. Horatio has been a good friend to them and his love for her grows.

Ophelia devises a plan; she uses her skill and knowledge of herbs to fake her own death and escape.

This story is cleverly woven into the original tale of Hamlet as told by Shakespeare. It is both believable and enjoyable. The language used will challenge some teenagers, as would the words of Shakespeare, which is good. I will be passing it on to my own daughter because it is both a skilful and original novel. Ophelia grows as her life changes dramatically. She learns to live in the day, not haunted by the past or dwelling on a fearful future. This is a very engaging book with a touching and sensitive ending.