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Monday, June 13, 2011

Woven Words

Throughout my days in London last year, words wove themselves into the places I saw and the things I experienced. Most apparent were the words about books and reading along the walls leading to the British Library's entrance. Even at the pub where I had potato leek pie one afternoon, words about the pub's history greeted me, and phrases laden with wisdom were carved on beams above the tables.

First-time novelist Gretchen Woelfle weaves words from William Shakespeare and Elizabethan England throughout her historical fiction novel told in five acts. Kit Buckles is the ruffian narrator whose career as a cutpurse is cut short at the Theatre when he is caught by an apple-selling girl. He must work off his sentence spreading nut shells on the dirt floor and doing odd jobs at his master's whim. Kit's passion for language blooms as he listens to rehearsals and practices lines with other young people. But his interactions with Will Shakespeare are the keys to Kit's discovery of his life's calling, what Will calls his dance of life.

The playwright's words woven effortlessly amidst the narrative keep the historical connections foremost in the reader's mind. The author manages to link Kit's eventual decision to be a carpenter with the first play Shakespeare writes for the new Globe Theatre: Julius Caesar. So many readers expressed interest in Shakespeare over the past school year, thanks to one motivating teacher. There will be an audience for this book when school begins again.

1 comment:

  1. A novel in five acts with Shakespeare as a character...oh, this sounds like a delightful romp back to Elizabethan England.