Search This Blog

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Gentleman Poet
Kathryn Johnson
Avon, 2010

Elizabeth Persons, an orphan, ends up in Bermuda after being shipwrecked, where she falls in love with the ship's cook and is befriended by a mysterious poet, William, who writes a play for the survivors about their predicament on the island.

At first, I assumed this was a story of some depth and character; after all, William Shakespeare was a character. Soon I discovered that it had all the elements of a typical romance novel without any of the charm of a Shakespeare creation. In fact, I was supremely disappointed in the flat and stereotypical characters (a crotchety mistress, a headstrong servant girl, a mysterious stranger, etc. etc.), the typical boy meets girl plot sequence, and the unreliable historical details. I looked in vain for evidence that Shakespeare actually went on a boat trip to America; if this isn’t true about an actual person, then what else did the author use liberties with?

Romance readers may love this book; it has all the elements of a light-hearted love story with a happy ending. Historical fiction and Shakespeare fans may want to look elsewhere.


This is the author’s first novel.

Other titles you may enjoy:

The King’s Daughter by Sandra Worth (2008)
A fictional portrait of Elizabeth of York, eldest daughter of King Edward IV, describes her life in the wake of her beloved father's death, as she and her siblings are branded as bastards and her brothers vanish, as she cherishes a forbidden love for her uncle, Richard of Gloucester, and ultimately marries Henry Tudor to become queen and mother of Henry VIII.

Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor (2011)
A collaborative effort between W. B. Yeats and resident playwright John Synge at the Abbey Theatre in 1907 gives way to a barrier-breaking affair with teen actress Molly Allgood, who after World War II looks back on her career and the great love of her life.

Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick (2009)
Nineteenth-century French prostitute Rachel Courteau becomes drawn to one of her newest clients, Vincent Van Gogh, and a true relationship blossoms until outside pressures threaten the safe haven they have created.

No comments:

Post a Comment