Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison

Title: A Wounded Name
Author: Dot Hutchison
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Classic Retelling, Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.
Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even when she takes her pills, the bean sidhe beckon, reminding her of a promise to her dead mother.

Now, in the wake of the Headmaster's sudden death, the whole academy is in turmoil, and Ophelia can no longer ignore the fae. Especially once she starts seeing the Headmaster's ghosts- two of them- on the school grounds.

At the center of her crumbling world is Dane, the Headmaster's grieving son. He, too, understands the power of a promise to a parent- even a dead one. To him, Ophelia is the only person not tainted by deceit and hypocrisy, a mirror of his own broken soul. And to Ophelia, Dane quickly becomes everything. Yet even as she gives more of herself to him, Dane slips away. Consumed by suspicion, rage, and madness, he spirals towards his tragic fate- dragging Ophelia, and the rest of Elsinore, with him.
Yet even in the face of certain death, Ophelia has a choice to make- and a promise to keep. She is not the girl others want her to be. But in Dot Hutchison's dark and sensuous debut novel, the name "Ophelia" is as deeply, painfully, tragically real as "Hamlet".

We all know the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet, probably from high school english class (I was the nerd that loved it), but this is a very different version.  The story line is still there and correct, all the people that died still die, and in the same way - we just get a different view of their motives and reasons behind their actions - because this time Ophelia tells the story.  Instead of a castle, we have Elsinore Academy - a sprawling old-fashioned highly private school run by the Danemarks - and so the stage is set for one of my favorite tragedies to be told again in a completely new life.

The thing that stood out the most for me was the writing itself - it was beautifully written.  Dot Hutchison kept the flowing and lyrical style of Shakespeare, but didn't get hung up on the fancy language.  The pages flew by and I was captivated by every word.  Her desriptions were amazing - both scenery and characters brought to life.

Since the story is told by Ophelia, we do not get to see the very end of Shakespeare's original, but we are left without a doubt of what will still happen.  Even for people who do not like the original, they will fall in love with this modern telling of one of the most beautiful plays ever written.

*This product was received in exchange for an homest review*

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