WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR FICTION A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"[An] exceptional winner. . . . It expresses something profound about the human experience that seems both extraordinarily current and at the same time, enduring." —Martha Lane Fox, Chair of The Women's Prize for Fiction judges
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 is mesmerizing and seductive, an impossible-to-put-down novel from one of our most gifted writers.