If you love a story that revolves around a book, a little mystery, and historical elements, you’ll love Harvard Yard! After two decades, Peter Fallon from Back Bay returns to take the reader through another multigenerational saga interwoven with suspense. This historical novel is based on a long-lost Shakespeare play, Love’s Labours Won, and the fictional New England Wedge family. The reader encounters an array of historical icons, from Cotton Mather to President Franklin Roosevelt, and their interactions with the Wedges.
Martin skillfully moves between the past and present highlighting events surrounding the play, its whereabouts, and its connection with Harvard University. It begins with Shakespeare presenting the play, transcribed in his own hand, to Robert Harvard as a gift for the birth of his son John, the University’s namesake. On his deathbed, John leaves his entire library to the school in the trust of Isaac Wedge, a graduate of the first Harvard class. Harvard cautioned Wedge about items of the collection, stating, “words you read and the ideas you meet do not glorify God but man, his vanities, his passions, his appetites.” And thus, it is man’s vanities, passions, and appetites that generate the remainder of this exciting tale. The juxtaposition of the past and the unraveling of Fallon’s present-day clues work to make a great read!