Thursday 23 September 2021

Henry Hamlet’s Heart

Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde (University of Queensland Press) RRP $19.99 ISBN 9780702263149

Reviewed by Wendy Haynes

Henry Hamlet’s Heart, the first YA novel by talented author Rhiannon Wilde, won the State Library of Queensland Glendower Award for an emerging Queensland writer in 2019.

Henry Hamlet’s Heart is ultimately a love story and finding love in unexpected places. Told in first person, the reader is taken on a thought-provoking ride, walking in Henry’s shoes as he navigates the last semester of high school, the stress of exams, the pressure of ‘what’s next,’ and simply finding his way in life.

The story explores the friendship of a close-knit group of teenagers but particularly the long-standing friendship between Henry and Len. Sexuality is unravelled, opened, though not explicit, and gives the reader the opportunity to explore with the main character the emotional roller coast of love and falling hard.

This story also explores who you are to you, and who you are in the eyes of others, and how there are shades of grey in just about everything. The author has captured the essence of what it’s like for a teenager experiencing feelings for another human being, and how feelings get mashed up. The author meshes mood with the setting in an evocative way adding an extra layer of depth to her characters.



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