Love Disguised by Lisa Klein

In a story reminiscent of Shakespeare's own plays, Love Disguised invents what might have happened during Shakespeare's Lost Years. A young Will Shakespeare travels to London with a sum meant to relieve his father's debts. On his way to settle the debt, Will is robbed and finds himself friendless and penniless in England's largest city. Long Meg, tavern maid and peace keeper, recognizes the thieves and disguises herself as a boy to help Will hunt them down. The drama that follows includes a multitude of Shakespearean literary conventions including mistaken identities, love triangles, and comic fools.

Love Disguised artfully echoes Shakespeare in a tale where he is the main character. The story is engaging for those who have never read Shakespeare, but is even more delightful for readers well versed in his works. Lisa Klein includes hints of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Merchant of Venice in this story of Shakespeare's young life. Shakespeare purists might oppose it, but it is a perfect book for teen readers getting their first taste of Shakespeare's plays. It introduces similar plots to Shakespeare's own comedies, but keeps them in a style more easily understood. It is also a fun book for those who have studied Shakespeare, because in aptly imagines how Will Shakespeare the boy became the famous playwright.

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