Believe what you hear about Hamnet. It's the most beautifully written book which takes you from the mystical to the historical, all telling an imagined/reconstructed life story of Shakespeare's family, especially his twins Judith and Hamnet. O'Farrell has said in interviews that she was perplexed as a schoolgirl why more wasn't made of the impact on Shakespeare of the death of Hamnet. It was only a few years after Hamnet died that Shakespeare wrote his most famous play – the names Hamnet and Hamlet were, apparently, used interchangeably. The play, of course, features a son mourning his father's death, almost as if Shakespeare was setting something right which had gone badly wrong. The history in Hamnet is played very lightly – this book is the most readable and heartbreaking of tragedies.
Hamnet from Wanstead Bookshop