The Sonnet Lover
Ballantine, 2007 (2007)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai
illiam Shakespeare is one of the world's most renowed writers of the sonnet. Dr. Rose Asher, a Professor of English Literature and Hudson College in New York, is an expert on sonnets penned by the fairer sex. She has always found it a challenge to teach students to appreciate these romantic verses, but one student in particular has caught her attention: Robin Weiss.
obin has an extraordinary feel for the sonnet, and recently returned from summer school in Italy where he filmed a short piece about
The Dark Lady
of Shakespeare's sonnets, claiming that she was Shakespeare's lover and lived outside Florence. Rose is sceptical until she hears the last sonnet in his film, apparently written by the lady herself to her lover – was he really Shakespeare?
he reader is treated to an intriguing plot as Rose returns to La Civetta in Italy, where she also spent some time as an undergraduate some twenty years earlier, and where she left her heart. Violence and intrigue follow Rose as she tries to unravel the truth of what Robin claimed to have discovered – that is before he
after the first screening of his movie. Her motive in going to back Italy is to make sure that the young man she believes pushed Robin from the balcony is held responsible for his actions, although this could forever estrange her from her old flame, Bruno, who is also the young man's father.
he plot of this novel is fine, and both the style and the prose are good – so why did it not grip me? Although all the elements are there to make a great read, it was somewhat pedantic, and many of the twists and turns in the plot came as no surprise – even the ending was all too predictable. Though its central puzzle is an absorbing one,
The Sonnet Lover
is perhaps not the best representative of Goodman's literary mystery series.
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