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La Dama Nera (2014)

by Sally O'Reilly(Favorite Author)
3.29 of 5 Votes: 4
review 1: In language that has the feel of Elizabethan times, O'Reilly portrays Aemilia as a whore that has a short time period with Shakespeare and the effects this has on her life. Effects? She has his child Henry to raise, she pines for him and hates what he lets happen to her. Aemilia is not only a whore but aspires to be a poet and writer. Her life is miserable because during the time of the book, 1592-1616, women don't count. She is a feminist before they were acknowledged. She thinks and knows that she has the smarts and education of a man. When she writes men call it doggerel. When she writes the Macbeth play, she doesn't get the credit, Shakespeare does. Men play the parts of women in Shakespeare's time, women don't get to do that.The book seems like froth at first bu... moret it continually proposes: 1. not keeping women from fulfillment2. the need for education to be put to use.The book is filled with darkness and gore, the plague, death, primitive beliefs and witching. It is a book that can make one think how lucky we are that we did not live in that hectic time when Catholics and Protestants were in turns reaching ascendency. Sometimes I thought there were too many words and I skipped lots of them. At other times, I enjoyed the flow of words which went on to make long sentences describing a scene. An example on p 415 is typical of what I mean: "The seething crowd is chatting, munching, singing, dining, gaming, smoking and swigging small beer."Although the feel of the times is true and Aemilia actually lived, the author says she could find no such connection between Shakespeare and Aemilia.
review 2: I found this to be a fascinating book. The authors attention to detail had me visualizing England during this time period. Whether it was the theater, mud caked streets, ferries across the Thames and so much more, the authors realistic descriptions shows her knowledge of this era. I had a hard time putting this book down just for the sheer fact that I was intrigued enough to find out what was going on. The supernatural part was interesting, though at times a little much. The concept of Lilith was something I have never heard of before (whether it is a true legend I am not sure).This book focuses mainly on Aemilia and I got to know her quite well. Some of the other players here lacked depth and I would have liked to see a little more of Queen Elizabeth and even William Shakespeare here.This is historical fiction with supernatural elements and might not appeal to all HF fans. I enjoyed it for glimpses of London life, the theater, poetry and a look at a 'little known' real person. less
Reviews (see all)
Aemilia spoke about her dreams a lot which I felt was tedious, found myself skimming through them.
Enjoyed this book. Interesting look at Shakespeare, his times and works from another perspective.
Very entertaining, historical fiction read.
aha coooool
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