I enjoy Shakespeare, especially retelling of Shakespeare. After all the Bard wrote for the people, and I like to think he’d appreciate his stories still being adapted to this day. So when I saw Hag-Seed, a retelling of The Tempest by Margret Atwood, was available for review, I reserved my copy.
I’m not familiar with The Tempest. And I thought it would make for a better review of Hag-Seed if I didn’t read it first. I just skimmed the plot on Wikipedia. My thought was, most of you probably aren’t familiar with it either. It’s relative unpopularity is even addressed in the book. Hag-Seed takes part in a correctional facility, where the narrator is teaching prisoners theater. It was a very clever way for Atwood to explain the plot of The Tempest to the readers of the book, as she had her narrator teach it to the prisoners.
I really wanted to like this book. The premise was interesting, I’m a fan of Atwood’s, and as I said I like retelling of Shakespeare. But this just fell kind of flat for me. The narrator is unlikable, and not in a particularly interesting way. There also seems to be something missing. Some lose end not tied up. I don’t want to go further than that, spoilers after all.
Overall, I’d say this is a solid three-star book. It’s not great. It’s not awful. If you see it at the library it’s worth a read. But I can’t really recommend buying it.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Hag-Seed from BloggingForBooks for review purposes. Amazon links are affiliate links.