i received a copy of learwife from allen & unwin nz in exchange for an honest review.
i read king lear as assigned reading in high school and had written multiple essays on it. while it wasn’t amazing, i still enjoyed it. to date, king lear is the only shakespeare play that i’ve read (although i’ve read a few sonnets back in school). since then, i’ve watched every remake (tv, movie, mini series, play production, etc) on king lear. i’ve remained fascinated by it.
unfortunately, learwife fell way too short for me.
learwife follows the exiled wife of king lear, following the events in the play. she isn’t given a name until the very end of the book (which i found an interesting idea).
the plot was non existent. it read like an autobiography about someone who did nothing with their life. literally nothing happens.
the biggest irk for me was that this book is highlighting a character and her thoughts on the events of the play, except she wasn’t even there??? she was exiled to a nunnery years prior. she has no clue what happened, aside from what others have told her.
there’s a reason the play ended when it did: because there’s no point continuing a story when the conflict has already been resolved.
anyway, i could go on, but i don’t see the need to. this book didn’t add anything new to the original play. the characters were unlikeable, the writing didn’t flow nicely and things were repeated unnecessarily.