Susanna Shakespeare finds the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon much too quiet and provincial. She yearns to travel to London to see her father's world of players and poets, and to follow a secret dream of her own. Once Susanna arrives in London, nothing is quite as she expected it to be - least of all her relationship with her famous father. But propelled by her love for Thomas Cole, a Catholic chorister, and her desire to sing, Susanna discovers that it is only with the support of those who love her that she has the strength to succeed.
Screenwriter Peter W. Hassinger creates a Shakespearean tale rife with beauty that pays homage to the Bard himself.
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Sweet Story About Shakespeare's Oldest Daughter
Shakespeare's Daughter by Peter Hassinger's is a sweet story that I would recommend for the young adult set who may be reading one of Shakespeare's stories in English or Literature class. The story centers around Susanna, Shakespeare's oldest and teen-aged daughter, who lives in Stratford with her mother and two siblings. She is a very talented singer and desires more than anything in this world to become a professional singer. She soon falls in love after a brief meeting with another young singer, Thomas, who sings in a traveling Boys Choir.
After a tragedy strikes one of her younger siblings, Susanna runs away from home and travels to London to be with her father thinking life will be better there. However, after arriving she learns of her father's loveless marriage and adultery, and she soon realizes life outside Stratford is cruel (until then she had no idea people were hunted down as animals just because they were Catholic). In the blink of an eye Susanna matures into a young lady and seeks out to find her own happiness after realizing no one could do it for her.
This story was a bit uneven for me. I loved the history aspect, with the weaving of the Reformation's persecution of Catholics and William Shakespeare's life in London. I also really enjoyed the relationship and conversations between Susanna and her two siblings. But the parts involving Thomas didn't ring true for me; I can easily imagine a teenaged infatuation but true love? Also, how could a teenage girl from the 16th Century runaway from home by herself, survive in the woods overnight, and eventually wind up in London - over 100 miles away - unscathed?
I listened to the Audible version of this book narrated by Kathleen Chalfant who did a great job narrating. She really brought the characters to life, using a variety of voices and giving each character their own distinct voice. I received a copy of this audiobook via Audiobook Blast from the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
Historical Fiction Done Well