If it hadn’t been for perhaps some of the most beautiful writing I’ve experienced this year, I may not have finished this book in the first place.
A Wounded Name was one of the titles I highly coveted just for the simple fact it was a Hamlet re-telling, which I’d already read a re-telling earlier this year (Falling For Hamlet by Michelle Ray and adored), and that cover is seriously gorgeous. Plus, how could it go wrong with a synopsis like that? Honestly, going into the title, I didn’t read any early reviews. I just read the synopsis, saw the pretty cover, and dove right into the read with my own pre-conceived ideas of how this Hamlet re-telling was going to go.
Sure, a boarding school was mentioned somewhere in there. I admit to rolling my eyes a bit at that before I even started because I found that typical to a re-telling in a YA category (taking the characters and placing them in a boarding school/high school setting). Nonetheless, Hutchison wrote this with elegance. The boarding school was barely in the background, hardly mentioned at times throughout the majority of the read and not a main focus of the story or the characters. This was good. Where I got confused the most was that despite the wonderful writing and well-crafted cast of recreated characters, the timing felt completely off to me. I didn’t know at the start that it was going to be a modern re-telling, and it still wasn’t until about thirty pages into it that I finally figured it out. The way it’s written is almost classically, as well as the use of description, names, and style--so when a car or cell phone suddenly pops into the picture, it really threw me off balance from the story at times. I felt like maybe it distracted me from it to be honest and could’ve done without the modern technology, working to be just set in the late 1800s-1900s, and would’ve worked out even better. But that’s just me.
I did like that it was quite accurate with the play, with a mixture of fantasy elements, and even included some of the quotes in passing dialogue between the characters. Enjoyed!