Beatrice and Benedick

Written by Marina Fiorato
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

Written as a prequel to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, this book tells what might have happened prior to the events of the play. The press release tells us that hidden within Shakespeare’s comedy are several clues that Beatrice and Benedick had a previous youthful love affair, and so the author weaves a tale around how they met, parted and met again.

She also expounds on the identity of Shakespeare himself and comes up with the theory that he was not born in Stratford and was not even English but Italian, or to be more exact a Sicilian from Messina, and that this explains his knowledge of Italy. She even gives him an Italian name, Crollanza, which translated becomes Crolla (Shake) and Lancia (Spear). Her Author’s Notes are worth reading. To be fair, I don’t quite see how all of this fits into the genre of historical fiction other than through the Shakespeare connection.

Whatever the case, this is a good read with plenty of action, and if you enjoyed the play you will like this book. If you are not familiar with the play I would suggest that you google up the synopsis of it and read that first. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look up other books written by this author.