What if Polonius wasn't really Ophelia's father but the grave digger was? What if Ophelia had access to a plant that, mixed with certain other ingredients, makes a person who ingests it appear to be dead?
The School Library Journal review on the back of this book claims that, "Fans of the Bard will applaud this highly imaginative, lyrical text that plays with the story without damaging it."The review is a BIG FAT LIE, for I have never seen a retelling damage the original story as much as this one has massacred Hamlet.
I always saw Ophelia as a bit weak and victim-like~i suppose i'm not the only one~and named a cat i got after my other "tough" cat Tiny disappeared when a roommate let her out into a strange neighborhood (i saw the cat as somewhat weak~that cat later became my baby who no other cat~at first~would ever match and i never knew if i came to see the character of Ophelia differently because of the cat or because of a re-reading of Hamlet...)Of course any re-writing of the master (and Hamlet always has been one of my favorite plays~i actually always wanted to play Hamlet) is going to leave a few detractors and there were definitely aspects of Lisa Fiedler's Dating Hamlet: Ophelia's Story that left me none too happy (i.e.
certain changes to Polonius and the gravedigger~but what can you do really?
Because, you know, it's impossible to be related to a backwards thinking, idiotic jerk! Let's list the guys who all have feelings for Ophelia or lust after her in one way or another; Hamlet (well, obviously)Bartholomew (you know, that cool guard in the first scene of the play, turned rapist in this book? It seems like every character who isn't related to her, apart from Horatio, (who is given a love interest all his own in the made up character Anne) have the hots for Ophelia, and it's ridiculous!
Face it Fiedler; sometimes good people are born from bad parents. There's only so many times you can make other characters fall for your protagonist before your reader's suspension of disbelief is stretched to the breaking point!
For my skin is pale as fresh daisy petals, and my eyes sink inward, rimmed by bruise-like swells of purple. To make matters worse, the Danish court is filled with lies and deceit. This book might have been interesting if I could have gotten past the writing.