The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I went on a trip to England with my choir. It was one of the best experiences of my life (and not only because I met the guy that I've now been dating for over 5 years*). But while we were there, we went to Stratford-upon-Avon home of the one and only William Shakespeare, which was incredibly exciting, since, even at 15, I was a bit of a Shakespeare dork. Seriously, my roommate and I were walking through Shakepeare's house gushing because he might have walked on that same floor or touched that same wall.
Sadly, this seems to be only picture that I took that day. (I guess I should have been flirting less, and photographing more). But at least you can see the thatched roof which is so common there.
While I could talk about England for days -- I did intend this post to be about Loving Will Shakespeare... so let me get on with that
Loving Will Shakespeare is story of Anne Hathaway, the girl who would become Shakespeare's wife. The story begins when Anne is 9 and she is attending the christening of the Shakespeare family's new baby -- baby William. As the story progresses, we watch as they both grow up, and very gradually fall in love. Because of all the time Will spends in London, this really is Anne's story and it presents an interesting picture of what life was like for girls in the late 16th century.
Carolyn Meyer has obviously done a lot of research into Shakespeare's time, and it shows, but in a good way. The reader almost experiences Stratford and Anne's life without getting bogged down in historical detail. I would highly recommend this to both Shakespeare fans and historical fiction fans.
* He likes to tell people that we met in England, so they'll think I'm Brittish. Truth is, we were in the same choir -- and I knew who he was before -- but we really got to know each other on the long bus rides through the English countryside. (though we didn't start dating until a year later). Look how young we were (I was 15, he was almost 14)!