“How he has fallen. How deflated. How reduced. Cobbling together this bare existence, living in a hovel, ignored …”
In the latest release of Hogarth’s Shakespeare series, Margaret Atwood completely delivers with her take on The Tempest.
Felix has been fired from his job as artistic director at the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by a man he once considered an ally. With his career over and beloved production of The Tempest cancelled, he finds himself completely alone and becomes a recluse, intent on disappearing from everyone’s radar. He makes a home for himself in an abandoned and isolated house, with the ghost of his deceased daughter, Miranda as his sole companion. As the years pass, Felix slowly forms a plan of vengeance. He takes a teaching job with Literacy Through Theatre program at a local penitentiary and aims to bring his long ago cancelled Tempest to life and use it to exact revenge on those who orchestrated his downfall.
Hag-Seed is a delightful and page-turning read. There are a few different aspects to this book as a whole and all work together beautifully; the use of a prison as a setting, the study and production of The Tempest by Felix and his cast, and Felix’s own inner turmoil and plot. The Literacy Through Theatre program, which sets the play within a prison environment is very interesting and compelling. Most fascinating is how the author captures and portrays Felix’s state of mind as we are completely absorbed into his world. You do not have to read The Tempest prior to reading Hag-Seed in order to fully enjoy it as it does stand quite nicely on its own. I have not read the Shakespearean play, however this book does inspire me to pick it up and experience all the themes that were discussed throughout Felix’s class and production.
*ARC provided by NetGalley. Publication date October 11, 2016.
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