28 December, 2014

The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel Review!



Book Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Design (October 31, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0990861600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0990861607

About the Book

Judith is talented, creative, and driven to accomplish great things. But, alas, she has one “shortcoming” that stands in her way—she’s a woman.

Set in sixteenth-century England, The Other Shakespeare tells the tale of Judith Shakespeare, older sister to the famous William, as she struggles to develop her talent and gain acceptance in a world that won’t recognize her because of her gender. Consistently denied her independence, she’s forced to engage in extreme measures to get what she wants out of life—and to make difficult decisions that will shock and surprise you.


Written in the vein of character transplant novels like Grendel, Ahab’s Wife, and What Happened to Anna K, Lea Rachel’s novel brings new life to a character that first appeared in another publication. Judith Shakespeare was originally introduced in acclaimed author Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece A Room of One’s Own—and now Judith’s full story is told in this speculative piece, which answers the ultimate question, “What if Shakespeare had been born a woman?”


A must-read for Woolf and Shakespeare fans alike, The Other Shakespeare combines history, social issues, and drama in a compelling story that will thoroughly entertain and enlighten.



   About the Author

Lea Rachel possesses a strong literary background firmly planted in her roots, education, and experiences. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, she hails from a bloodline of writers, including her grandmother Beki Bahar, an internationally published Turkish author and poet, and her uncle Anthony Kosnik, coauthor of a well-respected liturgical book that circulated circa the 1970s.
Rachel attended the University of Michigan, where she had two short stories published in the competitive literary publications Prism and The Write Stuff. She has attended writing workshops at the University of Michigan, University of California, and University of Iowa—and placed fifth, out of 18,000 entries, in the personal essay category of the 72nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.
Rachel makes her home in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and son. The Other Shakespeare is her first novel, released subsequent to her debut work, a personal memoir entitled I Promise.

My Review

The Other Shakespeare is based on a character first written by Virginia Woolf. Supposing that Shakespeare had been a woman, how successful would she have been? Probably not very much and we as a world would not have the works of the famous author and playwright William Shakespeare. Judith was not educated like the boys in her family, she and her sisters took care of the hearth if you will, but she did teach herself how to read which was scandalous in medieval time. Judith did have desires of her own, to be a writer like her brother.

Judith's mother sends her off to London to be a servant/companion to a Huguenot family stating that she is too willful and trouble prone. She has opportunities that she would not have had in Stratford-Upon-Avon, where the family home is. She starts going to the theatre in her evenings off and somehow is drawn to the theatre "crowd" consisting of only males. At that time men did the male and female roles in a play. Judith starts her 'writings' and falls in love with one of the men in the troupe.

I found this an interesting story, I love medieval tales anyway. I enjoy a story about a strong woman in a time when women really had no rights unless you were wealthy. The characters were very well developed and the plot was excellent. Imagine what women could have accomplished if they were only educated to the full extent as most men were. The author, in each chapter, has a quote from Shakespeare's works and Virginia Woolf references. For an interesting take on Shakespeare, read this book. You won't be disappointed.

I received a copy for review and was not monetarily compensated for said review.


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