Monday, June 1, 2015
Shakespeare, The Womanizer
The Tutor: A Novel
by Andrea Chapin
$11.84 Kindle version
This story is set in 1590, the year Queen Elizabeth’s Spanish Armada victory did nothing to stop her persecution of the English Catholics. Katharine de L’Isle is a thirty-one-year-old widow, in a household filled with turmoil. A new schoolmaster named William Shakespeare arrives and disrupts life at Lufanwal. Katharine is at first appalled by him, but soon finds herself drawn into Shakespeare’s verse, in ways that will change her forever.
If not for the drama of the supporting characters, I'm not sure I could have finished this book...the "relationship" between Katherine and William hardly progressed from one chapter to the next. I wasn't expecting them to jump into bed together or anything like that, but it was frustrating to watch two emotionally shutdown people trying to connect over poetry. Unlike other readers, I don't think anything built up between the couple other than heartache and bitter disappointment.
I would have preferred to read more about Katherine's interactions with the other characters; I realize that the point of this novel is the "romance" between Katherine and William, but their interactions always seemed so superficial, aside from their collaborations on the poetry.
If you are expecting anything like Philippa Gregory, don't...best if you don't have any expectations for this novel at all, and just enjoy it for whatever you can get out of it. Although, I am not sure fans of Shakespeare are going to enjoy seeing him portrayed in such an unflattering light. I do appreciate the thought the author put into accounting for Shakespeare's lost years.
My overall impression is that Chapin put too much into attempting to show readers how intellectual she is, rather than cultivating her creativity/imagination into entertaining story-telling.