This post is a collection of quotes from the book - Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell. Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief.

Hamnet Quotes

Every life has its kernel, its hub, its epicentre, from which everything flows out, to which everything returns.

There is nothing after you die. There is the soil and there is the body and it all comes to nothing.

There is so much to do in a family of this size, so much to see to, so many people needing so many different things. How easy is it, to miss the pain and anguish of one person, if that person keeps quiet, if he keeps it all in, like a bottle stoppered too tightly, the pressure inside building and building, until – what?

What is given may be taken away, at any time. Cruelty and devastation wait for you around corners, inside coffers, behind doors: they can leap out at you at any moment, like a thief or brigand. The trick is never to let down your guard. Never think you are safe.

How could Fate be so cruel in setting her such a trap? To make her concentrate on the wrong child so that it could reach out, while she was distracted, and snatch the other?

Anyone, who describes dying as ‘slipping away’ or ‘peaceful’ has never witnessed it happen. Death is violent, death is a struggle. The body clings to life, as ivy to a wall, and will not easily let go, will not surrender its grip without a fight.

How is anyone ever to shut the eyes of their dead child? How is it possible to find two pennies and rest them there, in the eye sockets, to hold down the lids? How can anyone do this? It is not right. It cannot be.

You see, you cannot change what you are given, cannot bend or alter what is dealt to you.

Mary is of the opinion that grief is all very well in moderation, but there comes a time when it is necessary to make an effort. She is of the opinion that some people make too much of things. That life goes on.

Gardens don’t stand still: they are always in flux.