In our world and our culture, the idea of young love is put on a pedestal, especially when it is enveloped in the idea of class or political warfare. The question is, can this young love overcome the challenges?
The book is set in two periods: Iran in the early 1950’s and New England in 2013. In the early 1950’s Iran is torn between the past and the present, between democracy and a religious autocracy. In this world our lovers, Roya and Bahman meet for the first time. They are young, passionate and eager to begin their lives as a married couple. But on the day that they are to say their vows, Bahman disappears.
When it becomes obvious that Bahman is not coming back, Roya moves to America and a new life. Decades later, a twist of fate brings Bahman and Roya back together. After sixty years, she still is still asking why he abandoned her.
I know that it’s only February, but this is one of the best books of the year. Using a narrative baseline of Romeo and Juliet and mixing in Iranian history with class politics, the author is able to weave together a story of young love that stands the test of time.
William Shakespeare’s works are immortal. They have outlived his lifetime and will continue to outlive our lifetimes.
Much Ado About Nothing is one of his greatest comedies. Last year, Joss Whedon released his version of Much Ado about Nothing.
In 1993, actor/director Kenneth Branagh released his take on the classic comedy. His Benedict is opposite his then wife, Emma Thompson as Beatrice. Robert Sean Leonard and Kate Beckinsale are Claudio and Hero. Secretly planning on bringing the lovers together is Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), Leonato (the late Richard Briers) and Antonio (Brian Blessed). Conspiring to keep the lovers apart is Don John (Keanu Reeves).
This is how Shakespeare should be done, every time. The cast is spot on and the movie is perfect. I still think that Hero should have not been so quick to take Claudio back, but that is the play overall and that is another topic for another post.
For every fact that we know about William Shakespeare, there is a myth, an unconfirmed rumor that we may never know the truth about.
Sally O’ Reilly’s new novel, Dark Aemilia: A Novel Of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady introduces the reader to a woman forgotten by the modern world. Aemilia Lanyer (nee Bassano) is the daughter of a Venetian musician. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth, she is mistress to the much older Lord Hunsdon. Meeting William Shakespeare, they have an ill fated affair resulting in her pregnancy.
Ten years later, the Plague has come to London. Aemilia is now married to her cousin, Alfonso. When the Plague enters her home and strikes her son, Aemilia will do anything protect her son, even if means going back to ex lover or making deals with dark forces.
I liked this book. This is not the first, nor will this be the last foray into Elizabethan England and the unconfirmed myths of that era’s most famous playwright. This book is rich in historical detail, but not bogged down by the facts. It’s a fun read, taking the reader on a journey and introducing us to a woman we should be celebrating as much as we do the Bard.
For the uninitiated, Much Ado About Nothing is about two couples on different paths to martial happiness.
Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Beatrice (Amy Acker) dated previously, but the relationship turned sour. It is love at first sight for Hero (Jillian Morgese) and Claudio (Fran Kranz).
Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) and Leonato, Hero’s father (Clark Gregg) happily endorse the marriage between Hero and Claudio while secretly setting up Beatrice and Benedick. But Don Pedro’s brother, Don John (Sean Maher) sees an opportunity to cause trouble for his brother and Claudio.
This movie is one of the best movies I have seen so far this year.
If I was not a fan of Joss Whedon, as well as being a Buffy/Angel and a Shakespeare fan, this movie would still be one of the best I have seen so far this year.
Acker and Denisof still have the same chemistry they had on Angel ten years ago, Morgese and Kranz are well matched as the young lovers torn apart by Don John’s lies.
The biggest kudos has to go to Nathan Fillion as Dogberrry, the bumbling police chief. His scenes are some of the funniest in the movie.
This movie should absolutely be purchased when it comes out on DVD.