4 out of 5 magical coffee cups
This is a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. From what I have read this is part of a series (Hogarth Shakespeare) of Shakespeare retellings that will be all from different authors.
I will admit to not knowing a lot about Shakespeare. I have not read Shakespeare’s version so I was coming into this book a little blind. I was excited and grateful that the opening of this book is a summary of the original. This helped me out because I felt like I should have some background knowledge on the original to really enjoy this book. I really wanted to read some of his plays but I struggled in just about every attempt. I was thrilled to find a book that was not ‘loosely based on’ but a modern retelling.
Settings of course have changed and names have changed but the main story is very similar. A wealthy man, Leo, becomes convinced his wife is cheating on him with a friend, Xeno. He believes the child she carries is the friend’s child and not his so he sends the child away. I have to say Leo’s inner monologue is pretty graphic and intense. This darkness and anger make it more believable when he sends this little baby away. Then the story jumps ahead to when the child is grown and living with her adopted family. Through a series of events she befriends Xeno’s son, Xeno comes to visit, conversations ensue and the truth reveals itself. Of course there is a little more to it that just that but it’s best if you read it on your own.
As far as I can tell this story stays true to the original themes that Shakespeare had intended and it has a lot of humor that would have been found in the original as well.
I enjoyed this book and I am planning to read more in this collection. I am truly thankful for this series/project so that people like me can have a better understanding of this great playwright.