Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman's Tale is a former bookseller's sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn't sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an 18th-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn't really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture's origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter communes with Amanda's spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
©2013 Charlie Lovett (P)2013 Penguin Audio
G L Strout
Well constructed with interweaving story lines that keep you wanting more. This book deserves more attention than it has received so far.
The originality of the story and the intricate story reminded me of The 13th Tale.
A wonderful combination of mystery, romance and literary history that takes the reader on a wonderful journey. I can not recommend this book strongly enough! A MUST READ!
As other reviewers have written, Lovett's book is a mixture of love story, literary mystery, and whodunnit. For my taste, the literary mystery is quite interesting while the other plots are so-so, depending too much on unconvincing coincidence.
Having just read The Shadow of the Wind (a novel this book was compared to), I was so excited to read this, but I found it to be just OK. The narration is excellent and the story is fine, just not excellent.
The first chapter of this book sounds good - then it gets muddled. Did any editor touch this? Too much backstory, too much many details that don't flesh out the characters. It needed some serious revision. It might have been a good outline but the execution was not well done. The reader was OK with some weak material.
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