Apr 5, 2014

Recent Reads: A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison- DNF

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
Publisher: Recorded Books - Audiobook, Carolrhoda Books - Print
Publication Date:  September 1, 2013 as Hardback


Format: audiobook
Source:Librarything Early Reivewers program and Recorded Books in exchange for an honest review

Rating: DNF

Goodreads Synopsis: 
There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.
Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even when she takes her pills, the bean sidhe beckon, reminding her of a promise to her dead mother.

Now, in the wake of the Headmaster's sudden death, the whole academy is in turmoil, and Ophelia can no longer ignore the fae. Especially once she starts seeing the Headmaster's ghosts- two of them- on the school grounds.

At the center of her crumbling world is Dane, the Headmaster's grieving son. He, too, understands the power of a promise to a parent- even a dead one. To him, Ophelia is the only person not tainted by deceit and hypocrisy, a mirror of his own broken soul. And to Ophelia, Dane quickly becomes everything. Yet even as she gives more of herself to him, Dane slips away. Consumed by suspicion, rage, and madness, he spirals towards his tragic fate- dragging Ophelia, and the rest of Elsinore, with him.

Yet even in the face of certain death, Ophelia has a choice to make- and a promise to keep. She is not the girl others want her to be. But in Dot Hutchison's dark and sensuous debut novel, the name "Ophelia" is as deeply, painfully, tragically real as "Hamlet". 

I decided to just give up on this audiobook, I listened to the first 2 discs or so and I just could not bring myself to finish it. I tried again the other day to listen to it and just could not get into it. I originally requested this book thinking it would be a modern retelling, I was sadly disappointed.

A Wounded Name is a retelling of a Shakespearean Classic, Hamlet. Told from the point of view of Ophelia, the reader begins the book with mental illness and death and it does not get any better from there. The time period the book is set in is confusing, or at least it was to me, they speak like it should be Shakespearean, but there is a note about cell phones and jeans, so right of the bat I felt like I was going crazy.

On top of being confused about the setting, the relationships all seemed creepy to me, there was a lot of verbal abuse and I also felt like the progression of the tale was leading to sexual abuse as well (maybe not- I didn't make it that far).

The beginning of the story was about grief  and depression and that is all that I could feel while reading it. This may be a good thing, that the author creates those intense awful feelings, but for me it made me want to stop listening and move on. I really wanted to enjoy this one too.

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