Ophelia

Ophelia

by Lisa Klein

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599902289
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 12/26/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 277,276
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.29(h) x 0.97(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lisa Klein was always dissatisfied with interpretations of Ophelia and so took it upon herself to breathe new life into the story of Ophelia. She is a former professor of English who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons. This is her first work of fiction.

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Ophelia 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 198 reviews.
Bou More than 1 year ago
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?
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
twilightfann More than 1 year ago
This book simply took my breath away. Hamlet is by far my favorite Shakespeare play, and Ophelia offers a great new perspective on the story.There was forbidden love, betrayal, revenge, and friendship in the novel. The story stayed true to Hamlet, while still remaining original. I definitely recommend it !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realy loved this book! It hade you hooked untill the end! A must read .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never thoufht i would look at shakespear with anything other than confused digust but this book openwd my eyes. The characyer of Opheliawas strong spirited but not rebellious. She was kind but not overly and sickeningly so. The relationship with Hamlet was a whirlind at best. Fast to start and quick to end. One day he marries her and the next hehardly speaks to her. It seemed bit unnatural and thewhole story was kind of rushed. Still i was enthralled from the beginning. I enjoyed the c,ever ways Ophelia manipulated events and i ,ove her brilliant escape. A lot of people have complained about the dullness if her time with the nuns but i found it interesting. I loved the details about the lives if the ither girls and discovering theirnsecrets. All in all i felt it was a charming story it just needed more detail and more time for the plot to develop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The fact that you got to see the other side of this famous story from the amazing Ophelia's point of view was great. Loved it, it was a book that I could not put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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"
Madeline Deaton More than 1 year ago
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
Lizzie92 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
roguelibrarian on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Plot: Ophelia is the learned, tomboyish daughter to an ambitious man. Eventually her father works his way into the court of Denmark. Ophelia becomes a ladymaid to the Queen and falls in love with with the dark and clever Prince Hamlet (and wins his love in return). Everything seems perfect, for a time. But her love is not an easy one. The Prince suspects that his uncle has murdered his father the king and he has vowed revenge. But the mask of insanity he has put on for his plan starts to feel all to real and his revenge comes to deeply affect her own life and family. Ophelia will have to be very cunning to survive her love and his revenge.This is a wonderful retelling of Shakespeare¿s famous play from the perspective of a character that remained sadly underdeveloped in the original. Klein clearly knows the play inside and out; she expands upon the existing narrative and inserts scenes and lines from the text in an elegant and seamless way. We come to understand Ophelia, her family and even the Queen, in a way that the play didn¿t really permit. Hamlet is ultimately secondary here. Klein¿s Ophelia is intelligent, witty and vibrant. She is struggling as best she can against forces she cannot control. Her love is beautiful and truly sad. But personally, I fell in love with kind, quiet Horatio rather than Hamlet from the start. ^_^
jasmyn9 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
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
stephxsu on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Shakespeare¿s tragedy, Hamlet, is practically required reading for every English student. But how much is really known about Ophelia, Hamlet¿s ¿girl,¿ who goes mad and commits suicide in the original play?Lisa Klein offers us a different perspective on the undeveloped Shakespearean character. Ophelia is a strong-willed and beautiful young woman living in the often treacherous world of court intrigue. For the most part shunned and used by her father and brother, the once tomboyish and willful Ophelia grows into a lady with wit and passion under the wings of court women such as Queen Gertrude. Yet she sometimes feels separate from the rest of the ladies when they speak of things such as love and marriage.That is, of course, until she crosses paths with Prince Hamlet. Their attraction for one another is undeniable, and Ophelia soon finds herself spiraling downwards into love. But when, after the suspicious death of his father the king, Hamlet¿s passion for Ophelia turns into a dreadful passion for revenge, Ophelia must carve out her own path, with or without her love, if she wants to live.It is refreshing to have one of Shakespeare¿s usually passive female characters retold as a strong personality. Ophelia is very much a modern woman stuck in the early seventeenth century; you can find hearty doses of feminism and religious zeal in many passages throughout. Supporting characters, however, are incompletely sketched, and I never felt any real connection with Ophelia and Hamlet¿s love for one another.About half of the book focuses on what actually occurs in the play; the rest is about Ophelia¿s attempt to survive away from Elsinore. Because she ends up at a convent, the second half of the book is very much focused on religion and finding peace with oneself, so much so that at times it can begin to sound preachy. Likewise, Ophelia seemed to approach the reliving of her past at arm¿s length, and that, I think, unfortunately detracted from the story¿s intimacy and appeal.Overall, however, Ophelia is an interesting way to reapproach a familiar piece of literature. If you¿re looking for something pro-feminism with period language that sounds genuine, pick this one up.
krau0098 on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I am a big fan of Hamlet and I have always wondered what the rest of Ophelia's story is. When of saw this reimagining of Hamlet, from Ophelia's prospective, I was wary but interested. Unfortunately, while decently written, the story was just plain boring and at sometimes forced.The story starts from Ophelia's point of view earlier than the play, back when the court of King Hamlet was a happy place. There is even a brief meeting with Yorick the jester. It seems okay, the author tries to stay true to the writing style of Hamlet but also tries to make it easily readable. This was okay and overall better than trying to mimic Shakespeare. Unfortunately the author forces in famous parts from the original play. She tries to put them in word for word and they seem strange and stilted in with the rest of the story. It is just plain odd.The back history and Ophelia's life after where the original play ends seem kind of boring. I am sure that the author means Ophelia to seem spirited and rebellious. To me though Ophelia's story seems rather plain; Ophelia takes what seems to me to be a rather typical route of women that were shunned in that time period. There is no stretch of the imagination here. I wonder if that is meant to make the story more realistic or maybe more in keeping with the times? The tragedy of Hamlet is in itself fanciful so I don't understand why you wouldn't stay with that and make Ophelia have a more interesting part in it all.Despite all the things I didn't like there were some things I did like. I did like that the author stayed true to the major plotline of Hamlet. I liked the glimpse of the court before King Hamlet's death. And, although it was not in keeping with a tragedy, I liked the hopeful ending. Although even this rankled a bit because after having Ophelia rail against the men in her life it seemed odd for the author to hint that Ophelia would feel more complete with the addition of a man to her life. Maybe this was meant to be ironic. It also bothered me that the characters in this book seemed less passionate than in the play; you would think a book would give more license to character development.All in all this may be a book I could have never really loved no matter who the writer was. It is an almost insurmountable task to fill-out a story written by Shakespeare. I applaud the author for the attempt. I just wish it was a more interesting and more well-written attempt. As it stands this book was okay, but nothing more. I don't think I will read anything more by this author, her writing style definitely didn't grab and take hold of me.
sensitivemuse on LibraryThing 22 days ago
When I first started reading this book I loved it. The chemistry between Hamlet and Ophelia was there and it was definitely interesting. It¿s a total different take on the play and an interesting view on the characters within. It was interesting how background information is provided (as how Ophelia and Hamlet met for the first time) and how they spent their childhood years. So although it does deviate from the original play it¿s not so much or goes too far out of context. For a while at least. The parts with Ophelia and Hamlet in love are well done. As mentioned before the chemistry is there and Hamlet stays true as there is definitely emotion and passion. I do have a problem with Ophelia later on. She becomes needy and really clingy. It got annoying and although there¿s lots of miscommunication between her and Hamlet, all she really had to do was ask him what the problem was instead of whining about it constantly and forgetting about it when he started to ¿act¿ normal. Hamlet did sort of reveal his agenda to Ophelia, but perhaps he didn¿t spell it out for her and she just assumed Hamlet stopped loving her altogether. For crying out loud Ophelia. You were raised like a tomboy and that sort of thing affected you when you could have just approached Hamlet and even punched him if you wanted to? That kind of contrast was a little too outrageous for me. I found Laertes different. I never really expected him to be quite the jerk portrayed in the book and always thought of him as an older brother who was protective towards Ophelia. I thought that was a little skewed. So, I have to say, the first half of the book was good. Despite some character flaws with Ophelia. The little twist with her finding out who really murdered the King was good, and her relationship with Gertrude proved interesting as well. However Gertrude also got moody, and whiny. It was as if the female characters just suddenly developed a syndrome to become this way all throughout the novel. Of all the characters in the book though, I really liked Horatio, he seems to be the only character that stays constant and true throughout the entire book without the severe personality changes. Now we get to the last half. I can¿t believe I actually went through with it too. I admit the alternate ending to Ophelia¿s fate was rather interesting but the story just went to a halt and started to crawl. There were pages and pages of Ophelia¿s time at a convent which did nothing to advance to plot and had me baffled as to wondering where this was going. It was borderline preachy as Ophelia tries to ¿find¿ herself while her time at the convent. I didn¿t care for this part. In fact I skimmed through most of it because it was extremely boring. I actually skimmed the last 50 or so pages until the very last few to see the outcome of Ophelia. I rather figured it would end up that way, as the book slightly hinted at it. It was satisfactory, but reading dozens of boring pages isn¿t worth it. Also the theme of revenge is just so overdone in this book. Sure, it¿s the main theme, but it¿s just so overplayed and over exaggerated it makes the emotion fake.So, would I recommend this? yes, and no. Yes, if you¿re not a Shakespeare fan. You might just enjoy it. No if you¿re a very perfectionist type and love Shakespeare. Like me you¿d probably wonder who is this whiny girl (who is also a tomboy) and what has she done to Ophelia. Also, the last half of the book might just put you off of the whole thing. It¿s very frustrating and unfortunate as it has good potential but just fell apart. It could have definitely been better.
elizardkwik on LibraryThing 23 days ago
An in-depth version of the story of Hamlet, told from Ophelia's point of view, with some artistic liberties. The writing seamlessly includes lines from the original play, while adding so much more in terms of detail. Focusing on the female characters, this is a good read for fans of the play.
librarianlk on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Entertaining takeon Hamlet. Opheliais not mad or dead.
mmillet on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Let me start this review by saying how much I LOVE Shakespeare's Hamlet and how excited I was to see more into the character of Ophelia. But after that, this story did not leave me feeling like I gained any important new understanding of her character...blech.So the book details the life of Ophelia and lets just say I only really liked the parts that stayed true to the original play. Klein adds in her backstory, Hamlet's courtship, and above all what happens to her afterwards. Of course, Ophelia faked death (think Juliet) and ran away to a convent where she later gave birth to Hamlet's son -- not illegitimate mind you, because they had previously married in secret. It's more than a little stretched. I didn't love how in depth they described her time spent in a convent, learning about the lord and the other sisters there. Frankly, I didn't see that it added anything to the story. But I did enjoy the parts that fit in with the original play and enjoyed the suppositions of the other minor characters in the play. It just feel a little flat anytime she digressed. Sad, I know -- I wanted to like this book, I really did. Although it does make me want to go back and read the play, which I think is a good quality in any book -- intentional or not.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Founded around a series of what-ifs. What if Ophelia's death was in fact a Romeo-and-Juliet type attempt to get away from the troubles that beset her relationship with Hamlet and in fact she survived to tell her tale? In fact this story mostly reads like Hamlet meets Romeo and Juliet and finishes with a happy ending. Overall it was interesting to have some of the dialogue from the original interspersed with the story and a greater development of the character of Ophelia but overall it was a bit ho-hum.
CaroTheLibrarian on LibraryThing 26 days ago
A retelling of Hamlet, with Ophelia as our narrator. From her point of view we see the intrigues and plots within Elsinore, her love for Hamlet, and in this version of the story, we find out how Ophelia escaped with her life, while all of her loved ones perished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is beautiful. I never wanted it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The girl on the cover looks like michael cera in a wig