What to expect

Susanna Shakespeare finds the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon much too quiet and provincial. She yearns to travel to London to see her father’s world of players and poets—and to follow a secret dream of her own. Once Susanna arrives in London, nothing is quite as she expected it to be, least of all her relationship with her famous father. But propelled by her love for Thomas Cole, a Catholic chorister, and her desire to sing, Susanna discovers that it is only with the support of those who love her that she has the strength to succeed.

Screenwriter Peter W. Hassinger creates a Shakespearean tale rife with imagery and beauty that pays homage to the Bard himself.

Critics Review

  • “This involving mystery offers fascinating insight into women’s realities in Shakespeare’s time.”

  • “A lively fictional account…Hassinger plays intriguingly with what is known about this time and place…There’s spirited talk about language, theater, and most especially about music, and the plot elopes with ease.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • “The strength of the novel is in the believable recreation of life in Elizabethan England, with the religious tensions between Catholics and Protestants and with the limits on a young woman’s ability to pursue her creative talents—even with Queen Elizabeth the head of the country. The other aspects of the story—an adolescent girl finding her own strengths, her first love, coping with estranged parents—will appeal to all YA readers.”

  • “About coming of age, taking risks, and being set free.”

    Children's Literature

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