April 2010 (out now) Bloomsbury
320 pages, Hardback
Historical, perhaps YA
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥
Summary from Bloomsbury
Before reading this book, I didn't think much about what Shakespeare's life was like. I knew he wrote plays, but that was about it (I studied a few of them at school). I loved the insight into this world. The dangers he faced, the uncertainty over whether people would like his plays or not. I learned a fair bit about how plays were put on in the past, the advantages and disadvantages of tours. I liked learning about more about the 17th century, a bonus of reading historicals (although I realise some details may be tweaked and/or fabricated). I liked how his life was tied up with Violetta's, the heroine of the tale.
Violetta has certainly lived an interesting life. Never a dull moment, my heart was in my mouth when I read her pov. And not just hers - I came to love the other characters as much as Violetta. They take risks to keep her safe. The relationship between herself and Stephano isn't overly done - it's actually quite sweet. It wasn't the primary reason why I enjoyed the book, yet it did further my enjoyment. I haven't read many books where the heroine is an actress. This career path was able to keep Violetta safe (for a while) from her enemies. Who are pretty scary, and had me wanting to hide behind a cushion at a few points of the obok.
One good twist about the book was that there were several povs told in first person, then an overall narration told in third person. It might sound a bit confusing, but it worked smoothly for me. It means that the reader gets a complete picture of the story and can watch as various plot lines cross paths, tangle up, and eventually merge at the end of the story.
My only small grumble about the book is that it didn't quite have the edge for me. The edge which gave Sovay a top rating. I can't pin point exactly what I wasn't fond of, there's just something which has me thinking 'oh'. I still recommend this book as a great read.
Celia can be found on her website.
Make sure you check out Celia Rees' Sovay