About the book:
Hidden in the language of Shakespeare’s comedy are several clues to an intriguing tale. It seems that the witty lovers Beatrice and Benedick had a previous love affair that ended bitterly. But how did they meet? Why did they part? And what brought them together again?
Fiorato begins with nineteen-year-old Beatrice as she first meets Benedick at her uncle’s court in Sicily. Both quick with words and independent, they resist the sparks that fly with each interaction. Misunderstandings and politics on the island make their parting tumultuous, and they go their different ways to follow a path that has been laid out for them. With marriage far from either of their minds, Fiorato explains the feelings that change a strong-willed couple’s point of view into the happy ending of Much Ado About Nothing.
About the Author:
MARINA FIORATO is half-Venetian and has worked as an illustrator, an actress, and a film reviewer, and designed tour visuals for rock bands including U2 and the Rolling Stones. Her historical fiction includes The Daughter of Siena, The Botticelli Secret, and her debut novel, The Glassblower of Murano, which was an international bestseller. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice, and now lives in London with her family.
Author photo: Ian Pickard
“Fiorato is a clever, attentive author, weaving Shakespearean phrases and clues to the Bard’s other works into her highly detailed and imaginative world. Fans of historical fiction, Gregory Maguire’s retellings of classic tales, and Geraldine Brooks’ March (2005) will appreciate Fiorato’s devotion to one of classic literature’s feistiest and most enjoyable couples. Full of passion, intrigue, and wit, Beatrice and Benedick is a delight.” –Booklist, starred review
“Beatrice and Benedick begin their ‘merry war’ in this impressive prequel…Fiorato re-creates Shakespeare’s Renaissance as if she’s embellishing one of his scripts with copious stage directions and footnotes, from the setting to the props… a lively origin story in which all the world’s a stage… and the suspense is high as the lovers walk a tightrope between truth and trope.” –Kirkus Reviews
“A good choice for fans of the Bard, most historical fiction readers and some romance lovers.” –Library Journal
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