I should say that I love Shakespeare. I love everything about Shakespeare, so when the opportunity came to read about the characters of Beatrice and Benedick before the events that occur in Much Ado About Nothing, I grabbed this book, stuck my nose in it and became intrigued.
I really enjoyed everything about this novel. I love the way that Fiorato envelopes us in the story, the fierceness of Beatrice, the young naivety of Benedick regarding the way the world works. The background story is told so well that the reader can almost smell the sea air and feel the hot sun of Messina, Sicily.
I found the character Beatrice compelling. As a young woman she is so constrained by her station in life along with her gender. She pushes at the walls of convention, with her conviction that she be able to live the life she wants. Benedick is young and naïve, believing “his” lord Don Pedro until circumstances show the mettle of the man.
I highly recommend this novel. It gives us insight into the history of Beatrice and Benedick, rounding out Much Ado About Nothing wonderfully. I strongly suggest that after reading this book you make sure to read the Author’s Notes. There you will find a rather interesting reference to the origins of Shakespeare.