My Father Had a Daughter by Grace Tiffany. Berkley Books, New York, 2003. Read in June 2013.
A lot of fiction has been written about Shakespeare’s life and works. I tend to be sceptical of it because much of what I have read is simply awful. This novel is a happy exception.
It is told through Judith’s eyes and starts with how she and her twin Hamnet love their father though he is often away. When Hamnet dies Judith goes to London to seek out her father. Like many of Shakespeare’s women, Judith disguises herself as a boy to get work at the theatre and stays out of her father’s way. Her father of course discovers her and the second half of the book deals with their relationship.
It’s an excellent mix of what little we know of Shakespeare’s life and family and the more detailed knowledge we have of Elizabethan theatre.
A must read for anyone who is fascinated by Shakespeare and history and enjoys a good read.