Customer Reviews for

Ophelia

Average Rating 4.5
( 186 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(115)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

An Unsuspecting Favorite

I honestly never thought that I'd read anything dealing with Shakespeare due to my own freewill. But here I am telling you that Lisa Klein's novel, Ophelia is quite possibly the best novel I've read in a long time. In high school, I always dreaded literature class whe...
I honestly never thought that I'd read anything dealing with Shakespeare due to my own freewill. But here I am telling you that Lisa Klein's novel, Ophelia is quite possibly the best novel I've read in a long time. In high school, I always dreaded literature class when we had to read Shakespeare. Maybe it was because back then almost every popular TV drama was based off of one or more of his plays or maybe I found that talking about problems was a much better solution that death. Who knows. All I know is that Lisa Klein blew a breath of life into of Shakespeare's most famous plays Hamlet, and I thank her for that. Everyone who has read Hamlet knows the story of Prince Hamlet and Ophelia, or at least they thought they did. No one knows for sure what really happened to Ophelia when she left her "rags to ruches" life behind. Lisa Klein retells Ophelia's story through the eyes of a young woman trying to find her place in a world of deceit. Ophelia's story begins when she was young. She had a somewhat simple life, at least in the beginning. Living right outside of Elsinore Castle where her life would change drastically and forever, she could never have imagined what fate had in store for her. Although Ophelia's curiosity-turned-affection towards Prince Hamlet started when she was young, she wasn't like most girls her age. She was curious, competitive and most of all a tomboy, which meant her meetings with the prince was often, even if they were short-lived. Ophelia knew nothing of the ways of love, the court or even where she belonged in the midst of it all. As she grew she became a lady in-waiting for Queen Gertrude, and soon became one of her favorites. Due to Ophelia's love of Latin and literature, they formed an almost mother-daughter bond reading "low brow" romance novels and discussing love and politics. At this moment you had a slight glimmer of hope for Ophelia's character. Now if this were any other story you'd think "Ok, everything's going to turn out alright" but then you get a reality check and remember that this story is based off of a Shakespearian play. At this point I was started to ask myself, "What trick is Klein trying to pull here? Is Ophelia going to deny her Shakespearian fate and live the life she had always wanted? Is that even possible?" Of course not, this is Shakespeare not Nicholas Sparks. In most tragedies the fate of a character determines if they took a chance to stand up to their enemy of not. When their conscious and passion would get the best of them they would make a decision that would ultimately change their lives, usually for the worse. Such was not exactly the case of Ophelia. She knew a dangerous secret but would this secret be enough to spare her life? This was the question that kept haunting me as I could see the disastrous trail of events for Ophelia and the inhabitants of Elsinore castle. Ophelia had it all at this point- the love of her life a prince even, Elsinore castle was her home and the Queen favored her. It seemed to me the more Prince Hamlet and Ophelia's love blossomed the closer destruction came. Although they met in secret, paranoia was working its way through Prince Hamlet and Ophelia's life. When their love evaporated quicker than it came Ophelia knew that she had to make a decision. She had to decide if she wanted work it out with Prince Hamlet or escape the castle she once called home. What would I do if I were in Ophelia's predicament?

posted by Bou on February 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Ophelia

Most of us have read, if not at least heard of, the story of Hamlet. The danish prince's tale has captured the imagination of many, but what of the beautiful Ophelia? Where did she come from and why did she behave the way she did. Lisa Klein takes a look into the life o...
Most of us have read, if not at least heard of, the story of Hamlet. The danish prince's tale has captured the imagination of many, but what of the beautiful Ophelia? Where did she come from and why did she behave the way she did. Lisa Klein takes a look into the life of Ophelia before the start of Hamlet, and follows her through the tragic tale.

Ophelia's story is interesting, and Klein did a fantastic job of molding her story into the framework of Hamlet. But there was just something about her that I had a hard time connecting with for some reason. She seemed a bit one sided, always worrying, complaining, and enjoying the same things no matter what the circumstances were. I can see the places where the author tried to make her grow and develop into something more, but she always came up just a bit short....maybe that was the point?

The plot was were it really lost me. I know there is only so much freedom you have when you are working within another famous story, but there was much of Ophelia's life that was up to the imagination. Most of her story just seemed a bit cliche and overdone. I could almost swear I had read something almost exactly the same and that did turn me off quite a bit.

I don't want to turn anyone off from the book too much though. I don't think there was anything actually wrong with the story, writing style, or characters. And I have to admire the way the author was able to keep all the facts from Hamlet straight and fit it into Ophelia's story just right. It just wasn't a book for me.

3/5

posted by Jasmyn9 on June 24, 2011

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Unsuspecting Favorite

    I honestly never thought that I'd read anything dealing with Shakespeare due to my own freewill. But here I am telling you that Lisa Klein's novel, Ophelia is quite possibly the best novel I've read in a long time. In high school, I always dreaded literature class when we had to read Shakespeare. Maybe it was because back then almost every popular TV drama was based off of one or more of his plays or maybe I found that talking about problems was a much better solution that death. Who knows. All I know is that Lisa Klein blew a breath of life into of Shakespeare's most famous plays Hamlet, and I thank her for that. Everyone who has read Hamlet knows the story of Prince Hamlet and Ophelia, or at least they thought they did. No one knows for sure what really happened to Ophelia when she left her "rags to ruches" life behind. Lisa Klein retells Ophelia's story through the eyes of a young woman trying to find her place in a world of deceit. Ophelia's story begins when she was young. She had a somewhat simple life, at least in the beginning. Living right outside of Elsinore Castle where her life would change drastically and forever, she could never have imagined what fate had in store for her. Although Ophelia's curiosity-turned-affection towards Prince Hamlet started when she was young, she wasn't like most girls her age. She was curious, competitive and most of all a tomboy, which meant her meetings with the prince was often, even if they were short-lived. Ophelia knew nothing of the ways of love, the court or even where she belonged in the midst of it all. As she grew she became a lady in-waiting for Queen Gertrude, and soon became one of her favorites. Due to Ophelia's love of Latin and literature, they formed an almost mother-daughter bond reading "low brow" romance novels and discussing love and politics. At this moment you had a slight glimmer of hope for Ophelia's character. Now if this were any other story you'd think "Ok, everything's going to turn out alright" but then you get a reality check and remember that this story is based off of a Shakespearian play. At this point I was started to ask myself, "What trick is Klein trying to pull here? Is Ophelia going to deny her Shakespearian fate and live the life she had always wanted? Is that even possible?" Of course not, this is Shakespeare not Nicholas Sparks. In most tragedies the fate of a character determines if they took a chance to stand up to their enemy of not. When their conscious and passion would get the best of them they would make a decision that would ultimately change their lives, usually for the worse. Such was not exactly the case of Ophelia. She knew a dangerous secret but would this secret be enough to spare her life? This was the question that kept haunting me as I could see the disastrous trail of events for Ophelia and the inhabitants of Elsinore castle. Ophelia had it all at this point- the love of her life a prince even, Elsinore castle was her home and the Queen favored her. It seemed to me the more Prince Hamlet and Ophelia's love blossomed the closer destruction came. Although they met in secret, paranoia was working its way through Prince Hamlet and Ophelia's life. When their love evaporated quicker than it came Ophelia knew that she had to make a decision. She had to decide if she wanted work it out with Prince Hamlet or escape the castle she once called home. What would I do if I were in Ophelia's predicament?

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was sooo good. The whole time my heart was bleeding when Ophelia's was shattering, and when she was happy so was I. The author,Lisa Klein, truly has a gift for writing. The entire time you are reading this story of tragedy and love you will have a different outlook on the world. Ophelia was brought up as a simple girl, but she soon catches the queen's eye and then imediately becomes her lady in waiting and throughout the years she becomes the most trusted lady in waiting. When she is 16, Prince Hamlet eventually becomes her secret love and they have a trecherous and happy courtship, but in secret. Then Ophelia's happiness shatters when tradgedy hits the castel where she was brought up. And soon she is concoting a plan to save her life. This story is mind shatteringly good and will help you understand true love and how you need to trust your own instincts about men. I highly recomend this book to everyone.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Incredible!! wonderful imagery!!!! Amazing contribution to Hamlet

    i know this might sound pathetic but ive read this book 3 times. the book takes u into ophelias world and you feel i like she is sitting right next to u you........ a wonderful read for those who have read Hamlet and want to know more about Ophelia

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Great Book

    A new prespective on an old tale. The character ophelia is a great addition to the story and the plot is exciting. I couldnt even predict what woud come next!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Buy this book!

    I don't even have the words to describe this book! If it was a movie I would watch it.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Wounderful !

    I realy loved this book! It hade you hooked untill the end! A must read .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Wonderful Book, Never put it down.

    The book was amazing! I picked it up almost 6yrs ago and i constantly revisit it to this day. Wrote an award winning poem using this story as a basis entitled "Sincerely Your Ophelia"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My new favorite book.

    I may be a nerd, but I LOVE lit class. So much that, the moment I realized what this book was about, I had to read it. We read Hamlet in my British Lit class and I couldn't help but feel that Ophelia deserved way more than what she got.

    This story gives all that and more. Ophelia finally gets to be the hero. She's given an excellent plotline that can easily slip between the cracks of the Shakespearean play. Everything fits with the play and you want to believe that this is what really happened, instead of her suicide.

    It's a quick and easy read, but easily reread a dozen times.

    All in all, a great book, especially for those who fell in love with Hamlet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2008

    Best Book Ever!

    I've always loved the works of Shakespeare and when I saw this book, it sparked my interest. It gave me another way to look at Hamlet. When I fished each chapter, I couldn't stop reading! Once you start Ophelia, you just can't put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was pretty AMAZING! Ophelia is my favorite book ever! It draws you in and you feel like you are actually in the story! I never knew what Hamlet was all about before I read it, and now I can't wait to read Hamlet! I would recommend it! I keep reading it over and over!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Good book.

    Not really my genre of choice, but it was assigned by my teacher and I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Amazing

    I didn't buy this on the nook but I have the book and it is amazing! There is lots of irony in this! I honestly suggeat you read this! It is really easy to read unlike shakspeare! Love Love Love this book!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Glow

    An inspiring story than not only add a great ending to the story of shakespeare but shows a clearer love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Great read!

    I really enjoyed this book b/c it gave Ophelia a voice and allowed her to be so much more than Hamlet's suicidal girlfriend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    A gem!

    I received this book as a gift when I was a teenager and didn't think I would enjoy it, but I was very wrong. Ophelia is one of my very favorite novels, one I've read and reread over the years. There's love, mystery, betrayal, hope, fear, and the story of a courageous young woman who learns to trust herself. I would definately recommend this treasure of a book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Amazing!!!!!

    Loved this story. It is an absolute must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read!

    This book is a must read! It's absolutely one of the best interpretations of Hamlet I've ever read. It focus' on Ophelia and her progression through the play Hamlet and involves wonderful insight into her back story and her side of the story. Ophelia's ending was quite predictable but I really encouraged the way Lisa Klein had this book end.
    Overall, a must read for any Hamlet or Shakespeare fan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Ophelia

    I read Hamlet and was dissapointed at shakesphere for making Ophelia a side charactor and I personally saw more potential to her. When I saw this, I immediatly got it and it became an imediate favorite! It makes Ophelia the main charactor and it shows HER point of veiw. I would definatly reccomend this to anyone who loves history! I would also like to say that you all should read Hamlet before/after just to understand it more. This book has Romance, history, and thrill!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    LIFE-CHANGING%21%21%21%21%21%21%21%21%21%21%21

    I+love+that+theres+so+much+love+in+this+book%21+Hamlet+and+Ophelia+were+so+in+love+.+.+.+or+atleast+until+he+went+mad.++When+they+said+that+people+were+making+love+under+a+tree%2C+and+saying+they+gave+theirselves+to+eachother%2C+i+wish+they+told+what+happened.+Was+it+spicy+or+sweet+or+romantic%3F+I+know+that+Ophelia+and+Hamlets+first+time+was+romantic+and+sweet.+It+was+on+a+balcony+in+the+moonlight.+Thats+sorta+romantic+consitering+their+love+was+forbidden%21+At+the+end+you+wonder+what+happens+to+her+and+Haratio.+If+it+dosent+work+out+between+them+she+always+has+little+Hamlet.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Strengthening Shakespeare's Female Character

    Shakespeare never created great female characters; most are left in the shadows. This is such with Ophelia. Lisa Klein breaths life into this character, strengthening her and placing her in a different light. The reader is able to see her affections for her lover, Hamlet, as he becomes obsessed with avenging his father. This novel is based on Shakespeare's Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Shakespeare or someone who wants a classic, yet slightly original story.

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