What a fabulous read!!! I am a big fan of Shakespeare and am fast becoming a big fan of Margaret Atwood.
This book is a modern take of The Tempest. What is fascinating about it, compared to other modern adaptations is the way is winds the play within the story, with the story itself. The story follows Felix, an Artistic Director. It begins with him preparing to put on the play, The Tempest. You learn that both his wife and more recently daughter, have passed away. Due to a number of theatre politics, he is fired from his position. He then manages to get a position within a jail where he teaches Shakespeare and puts on plays with the residents.
Throughout the book, you learn of his mental deterioration with having hallucinations that his daughter still lives with him – although he acknowledges that they are hallucinations, yet still interacts with his daughter and ‘fathers’ her. You also learn about his manipulations and scheming in an attempt to harness revenge for those who have wronged him. But, as with all novels and authors I admire, there is strong character development and relationship building. Felix ultimately learns more about himself and is able to build positive respectful relationships – without him actively realising.
I loved everything about this book. Although I only have a vague awareness of The Tempest, I was able to see the parallels between this story and Hag-seed. Margaret does an amazing job of explaining the synopsis of The Tempest, through the development of the play within the text, so you are aware of it, without it being a break from the story.
I will give this book 5 stars!