The Sonnets – Book Review

The Sonnets by Warwick Collins

What was the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s sonnets?

This is the question addressed in Warwick Collins’ new books, “The Sonnets,” as he imagines Shakespeare’s life during the time the London theaters were closed due to plague.  The reader follows Shakespeare’s thoughts, feelings, and life as he stays at the home of his patron, the Earl of Southampton and composes his famous sonnets.

This is a very quick read and truly feels as if it is a snapshot of Shakespeare’s life, it could almost be an excerpt from his lost diary, if it were only written in diary format.  It was definitely a well-written, well-thought-out, and plausible story.  That being said, it really wasn’t the right book for me.  I was able to appreciate that it was good, but I didn’t have much interest, although I wasn’t ever tempted to give it up.  I think part of my problem was indeed the feeling of the story being a snapshot of Shakespeare’s life.  Because there was little background and I simply entered into his story, I never became attached to any of the characters.

Perhaps my real problem, though, was simply my inability to read poetry in the midst of prose.  Confession: I almost ALWAYS skip the poems and songs that authors include in their novels.  I really tried to read them in “The Sonnets,” because I knew that they were the entire reason for thes story, but I wasn’t always successful.

Although this book wasn’t the best fit for me, it may work very well for other readers, particularly those enamored with Shakespeare’s sonnets and those with the ability to pay attention to poetry in novels.  Bad luck if you’re American, though, as “The Sonnets” seems to be available from Amazon in the UK and Canada, but not in the US.

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