A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
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.
I'VE NEVER BEEN THAT GIRL.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.
YOU KNOW HOW THIS STORY ENDS.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".
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
you know how this story ends… except where the first focused on his (in)sanity, his grief, and the lot of them getting caught up in one plot then another, this focuses on her. how maybe (just maybe) she’s more than daughter, sister, lover… or while she was those things, she’s not passive in the same, no mere object of another’s judgment/perception, rather an active player, making decisions that made no sense to me... but decisions all the same that drew me closer.
i tried to make sense out of him, he, and them; out of their grief and their schemes… and as said, we all know how the story ends, but it’s the contrast in so many things here that had me paying attention, (and there were lots of those here): obedience/responsibility. place/expectation. virtue/judgment. his goals/her in the way. so, was this new twist/old story?
not completely. because she felt more than ophelia, passive and following along, whose (in)sanity and virtue the subject when brought up. a lot of what happens felt like a matter of choice… her choice. she’s not a passive little player in this but an active one, deciding (sometimes foolishly, heedlessly) to do what did based on she wanted.
truly, a lot of what she’s subjected to (subjects herself to?) had me angry… because they’re all still assholes in this version. so, yes and no… to the new twist/old story for ophelia as good daughter/ sister, swayed by what’s expected, molded by what others need, cracking under pressure and yada yada yada. Because the ending is the same, but we see so much more of her…it’s not just assholes and their issues especially as one considers how she’s not just told what to do, there’s choice here. she chooses to love. she chooses to be the good daughter. she chooses to keep her promise. even when a lot of those decisions made no sense. also… the way this is written?! twas’ all so very, very good.
thank you, net galley!
View all my reviews