Hag-Seed:a Review

FullSizeRender 5Hag-Seed

Margaret Atwood

301 pages

October 2016

Literary Fiction. Retelling.

When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play? Goodreads Synopsis


This is one of the books in the Shakespeare Retelling series.  Various authors retold and modernized Shakespeare’s work.  I have read Vineagar Girl and absolutely adored the retelling of Taming of the Shrew.  I was really excited to read Margret Atwood’s version of The Tempest.

Sadly, it fell short of my expectations.  It’s hard to review this one, as I personally didn’t care for it.  However, fans of Atwood shouldn’t turn away from it.  Her writing is still so well done, and there were definite aspects of the novel that I liked.

The problem for me was that there was too much of the Tempest in there and not a lot of “retelling”.  I get that The Tempest is a play within a play, and the playwright goes crazy and that’s where Atwood was going with this novel.  I just wasn’t thrilled with how it was going.

Please, don’t rule out this book just because I didn’t love it.  As I said, Atwood’s writing style is fantastic.  The retelling just fell short for me and was almost bored at times, but I still liked the story as a whole.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy to review.




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