Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
Having been fortunate enough to have read Ms. Meyer's previous release, MARIE, DANCING, I was anxious to read her take on the life and times of William Shakespeare. Although I must admit that I enjoyed MARIE, DANCING, based on Marie van Goethem and the role she played in becoming the inspiration for Edgar Degas's sculpture, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, just a tad bit more than LOVING WILL SHAKESPEARE, I did thoroughly enjoy this book.
LOVING WILL SHAKESPEARE is the story of William Shakespeare and his wife, Agnes "Anne" Hathaway. Anne, however, is the main character in this story, and although I wasn't disappointed, per se, I can admit that I was hoping for more of an intimate look into Mr. Shakespeare himself.
Having lost her mother to illness, Anne finds herself with a new stepmother, Joan, who is eerily reminiscent at times to the evil stepmother portrayed in the classic story of Cinderella. After the last attempt to fix her up, yet again, with a cruel and intolerant suitor, Anne realizes that she's been looking for love in all the wrong places. But how can she be in love with young Will Shakespeare, though, when she's known him since he was a toddler?
In love with him she is, although it takes her awhile to act on her feelings. Thankfully for Anne, Will returns her love. Not so fortunately, however, is the fact that Will has the desire to write sonnets and poems, to act on the stage, to travel the world and see the sights. All Anne has ever wanted is to be married, to raise children with a man she loves, in a home they can call their own. When they finally do marry, Anne realizes quite quickly that the permanent, loving homestead she so desired will undoubtedly be one without the constant presence of her husband.
LOVING WILL SHAKESPEARE is intriguing, to say the least. It's interesting to see how Anne and Will fall in love through friendship and the course of time. While beautiful, it's also haunting, to know that this couple stayed married for more than twenty years, during which time Will was hardly ever at home with his wife.
This is a great read for lovers of history, or for those interested specifically in the life of William Shakespeare. I can honestly say that I feel like I know Will and Anne Shakespeare--or, at least, know of a young man and a slightly older woman who were, once upon a time, madly in love.