9 Following

Chels & a Book

Mr. Shakespeare's Bastard

Mr. Shakespeare's Bastard - Richard B. Wright Okay, who doesn't love a good Canadian writer? Especially one who has won the Giller?! Not only this, but I am proud to say that Richard B. Wright is a current resident in my home town of St. Catharines, Ontario! When I saw a friend reading this on Goodreads, I couldn't help myself. I bought it and read it in time to write an entrance essay on it for a program I applied to. And I must say -- it was a great pick to write on!This is my first Richard B. Wright book, but definitely will not be the last. There are things I absolutely loved and some things I was a bit cautious about in the book. First of all, Wright writes from the perspective of two very different women: Shakespeare's mistress, the spunky Elizabeth and her aging daughter, Aerlene. I was nervous heading into a novel with a man writing as a woman as this is both difficult and rarely ever done flawlessly. However, Wright really surprised me with this! Elizabeth was by far my favourite character. She was so lovestruck and adventurous, chasing her constant desire to "touch" men, and ending up falling in love with the young and aspiring playwright. Aerlene's tale is much more subdued but a good contrast to her free-spirited mother. Although I found the voices pleasant to read, I was slightly disappointed by the lead up to Shakespeare's actual appearance and just how brief it was. Though he dealt with Aerlene's appearance in the only way you feel he could have (not rude but definitely not welcoming), there was just something missing for me. For all the magic and wonder that is expressed in the novel thanks to the perfect depictions of London in the 16th-century and the many references to Shakespeare's plays, the climax of the novel just didn't hit me hard enough. I must admit to enjoying the first half of the book (Elizabeth's tale) more than Aerlene's. However, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys period pieces. It was a beautifully written novel with prose that danced on the page!