I can only wish I’d begun reading Maggie O’Farrell earlier, for “Hamnet” is scene after brilliantly written scene delivering technicolor mental pictures and breath-catching emotiveness. When the plague visits Stratford, twins Hamnet and Judith, are accosted by death. Their parents, an individualistic, expressive woman and an aspiring playwright in London, must wrestle with fate, grief, and each other. Out of this stew of family trials, O’Farrell has woven a speculative, fierce novel at the edge of one of the English language’s most famous plays. Hamnet is a lush, intimate literary novel that deserves a wide audience.