1.07.2009

Book Review: Interred with Their Bones

Jennifer Lee Carrell
Plume, 2007
405 pages
trade paperback

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In a nutshell, Interred with Their Bones is basically The Da Vinci Code for Shakespeare aficionados--and mostly better written than Dan Brown.

I received this book as a Christmas gift. My husband was looking for something that wasn't on my wish list, something I wouldn't expect to receive, and he felt like this one would be my kind of thing, seeing as how I teach Shakespeare each summer to middle-grade students--and actually get them to love and understand it. (I also was a member of a Shakespeare acting troupe in college.)

Okay, so I'm no major Shakespeare scholar. I know more than the average person but not nearly as much as the big academics. Still, I found this to be a quick and fun read, although I sometimes had to gloss over the places where I didn't 100% follow the leaps in the characters' logic. What I mean is, there were points at which I took what they concluded on faith.

The story itself is a rollicking adventure of the search for Shakespeare's lost play Cardenio. The protagonist is Kate Stanley, a Shakespeare scholar-turned-theatre director. Very much like Langdon in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Stanley is thrust into the dangerous mystery simply by dent of the fact that she has the knowledge needed to see the quest through. (She even has ties to Harvard. Maybe she knows Langdon?) The plot twines from London to Cambridge (Harvard, in fact) to Utah to New Mexico to Washington D.C. to Spain, and then back again to some of those places.

Of course, the question at the foundation of the novel is not where this Cardenio manuscript is, but, "Who can Kate trust?" Carrell attempts a couple twists towards the last quarter of the book, but as a veteran reader of mysteries, I must admit I wasn't in the least surprised by the who-done-it aspect. The fun was more in the journey than in the end result.

Carrell has another Kate Stanley book in the works, slated to appear on bookstore shelves this year, and I'll almost certainly pick it up from the library. Which should at least tell you that I find this one a worthy read, despite some flaws.

1 comment:

Manda said...
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