ISBN: 9780399155451-Hardcover/9781440697692-eReader/9781440697685-Adobe reader/ 9781440697678-Microsoft Reader
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Group
$24.95 U.S. / $27.50 CAN
Fiction/Putnam Adult/ 18 and Up
Rating: 5 Cups
Anne Whateley grows up in the small farming town of Stratford with her widowed father. With bronzed skin and dark eyes, her exotic looks are quite different from the typical blue-eyed and fair-skinned woman. At the tender age of eight, Anne meets her soon-to-be friend and later-on lover, William Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare has grown up in the same town as Anne, helping out with his family’s business but dreaming of bigger things. His main goal in life is to travel to London and become a famous playwright who everyone recognizes. When he is nine years old, Will bumps into Anne and they become fast friends.
Will and Anne find that being friends is not easy, as their fathers are competitors for the same business, and so starts a feud. As time flies by, Will and Anne continue to see each other in secret, and as they grow older, their friendship turns to love. After secretly handfasting, Will and Anne consummate their secret marriage, only to have it torn apart when Will is forced to marry another. Broken-hearted and determined to get over him, Anne goes to London to take over her father’s business after he passes. Years pass, and suddenly Will is back in her life. While he is still married in his other life, he lives with Anne knowing that at any time he may have to break her heart yet again. It is not only their hearts that are in danger when the Queen starts pointing fingers at traitors, and William Shakespeare is among her suspects.
Mistress Shakespeare is a very interesting novel to read, delving into the life of William Shakespeare as we have never seen him before. Ms. Harper portrays the famous playwright as nothing more than any other human, caring at times and just as egotistical at other moments. In this tale of love, we see Anne suffering through much strife, fighting for all she loves, and hoping she will conquer all. It amazed me how much at times I wanted to reach in the pages of this tale and strangle William for his insensitivity towards Anne and her feelings. An intense fiction rife with drama, suspense, and love, this novel is the personification of the secret life of William Shakespeare, as never seen before. A must read!
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More