After Meg Macdougall loses both of her parents in a quick succession of tragedies, she takes up residence as a barmaid at the Boar’s Head Inn, where she eventually meets a young Will Shakespeare. . . .After Will is robbed, Meg offers up the assistance of her (invented) twin brother, Mack, in avenging Will’s honor and pocketbook. From there, Will and Mack (who is actually Meg in disguise) try to find the thieves and avoid jail on account of Will’s father’s debts. Klein’s (Ophelia; Lady Macbeth’s Daughter) prose is cheerful, lively, and full of historical and literary tidbits to delight Shakespeare fans, as Meg/Mack’s relationship with Will vacillates between friendship and romance. Weaving fact with fiction, Klein’s novel plays up her own Shakespearean wit and takes full advantage of her extensive knowledge of his life and plays. Ages 12–up.
--Booklist, starred review
Innovative and ambitious. . . risk-taking and thought-provoking fiction.
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