I wanted to love Ophelia. I really did. Shakespeare’s plays have been in my life for as long as I can remember. I adore him. So when I heard about this book, I thought to myself, “This should be GREAT!” To read a novel from Ophelia’s perspective? GENIUS! But alas, my joy turned to bitterest gall.
Let’s be clear. I did like Lisa Klein’s Ophelia. The author writes with a really great sense of that time period, to the point where I wanted to wear a courtier’s gown and sit primly in the parlor doing needlepoint. Parts 1 and 2 of her novel moved along nicely and, although set in a time hundreds of years ago, Ophelia’s problems with her man Hamlet had me saying, “Girl, break up with him!” Reading how little control she and the other women had over their own lives really pissed me off and was just a reminder of how glad I am to be single. Hamlet is that dude you know is bad for you but only after you’ve had great sex with him. You know he’s trash, but you still try to make it work somehow as he makes it clear he’s no longer interested (or about to go mad and commit murder). And all the while, the real ones like Horatio patiently wait in the wings until you get over that dumbass and go to him with open arms, a warm heart and the best sex you’ve ever had in your damn life. But, I digress.
Ophelia had my attention until I got to Part 3 and then I lost all focus. Part 3 felt like someone else wrote that section of the book, because there was nothing interesting about it. I felt like I was in Bible study the whole time, and I was not happy. If I want a refresher on the teachings of Christ, I’ll read the Bible on my own time. It was almost like the author was trying to get readers to church by any means necessary. I really didn’t care what happened to Ophelia by that point and could barely get through the rest of the book, which was disappointing.
The novel was adapted for the screen and the film, starring Daisy Ridley, Tom Felton, Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, does not have a release date as of yet. I do recommend that you read Ophelia for yourself and then let me know what you think.